Jeert’s stepmother runs the household in a strange, heavy-handed and dominant way. This upbringing and the incomprehensible stoic silence of Jeert’s father ensures that Jeert often is in conflict with the Manual of Life. The manual is, to Jeert, the symbolic form of his conscience that he inherited from his parents and his ancestors. In addition, the confusing behavior of the local authorities and the teachings of the parochial clergy do not make Jeert’s early life easier. Jeert has to fight mental battles time after time.
Johan van den Eertwegh transmutes into the child Jeert and let him tells his fascinating story about who Jeert is and what made him changed. A story that arises from Jeert's earliest beginning until he eventually leaves the family home nearly sixteen years old.
The narrative is also a time document. The stories are set against the background of the events that keeps the world and with that Jeert's immediate vicinity busy at that time. Humor, but more over the tantrums and deep sensitive tragedy, associated with Jeert´s character deformation, is expressed with passion in a smooth unique writing style. The exciting developments of the story sometimes elicit a spontaneous smile, but now and then also touch the reader to the bone.