Cheerfully on to the Finish Line

Original title: Opgewekt naar de eindstreep

Author: Groen, Hendrik

Publication Date:

November 2020



Original language and publisher

Dutch | Meulenhoff

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. Dutch

Territories Sold

Estonia (Eesti Raamat Publishers)
Czech Republic (Albatros Media / XYZ)
Germany (Piper Verlag GmbH)


Literary Fiction

Cheerfully on to the Finish Line

Original title: Opgewekt naar de eindstreep

Author: Groen, Hendrik


“The most poignant corona novel published in The Netherlands so far. […] Convincing and moving.” — NRC Handelsblad

The very last diary of Hendrik Groen, one of the world’s most beloved seniors.

An unexpected pleasure for everyone who craves to know how Hendrik Groen is doing after his previous diaries.

Even as a ninety-year old, Hendrik is trying to live his best life, despite missing Eefje, Evert and his other close friends; but he finds himself confronted with increasing memory loss.

After his care home in Amsterdam is shut down, Hendrik Groen is transferred to a seaside village. The Old-But-Not-Dead-club has fallen apart. Every now and then there is Old-But-Not-Dead-reunion with warm memories and generous amounts of booze, but apart from that, there isn’t much to look forward to. Hendrik must face the fact that time is no longer on his side: he becomes increasingly forgetful and starts to lose his grip on things. In a last effort to counter his decline, he decides to start a new diary. If all else fails, he can at least reread what he has forgotten.

Matters take a turn for the worst when Covid 19 turns life in the care home upside down. With Evert no longer there to lighten things up with his crude jokes, goody-two-shoes Hendrik finds himself becoming increasingly bolder. Fortunately he’s left with three faithful friends to keep him on the right track: Leonie (88), Frida (10) and Miss Jansen (4). The latter being his dog, Evert’s farewell present. With these allies by his side, Hendrik has never been more ready to drag himself cheerfully towards the finish line.

Marketing Information

  • Upon publication, it went straight to #1 in the Dutch bestseller list
  • 3 reprints within one month
  • Under option: Italy, Poland, English (UK), Egypt, Slovakia, France, Lithuania, Hungary, English (USA), Croatia, Russia, Romania, Vietnam
  • The first two diaries both received the Dutch Railway Public Prize.
  • 700,000 copies sold in his diaries.
  • 850.000 copies sold of Hendrik Groen’s books in the Dutch language, translation rights sold in 36 territories.
  • The tv-series based on the diaries attracted an average of two million viewers per week.