A while ago, I said I wanted to read this amazing book. And I was FAR from disappointed … Per Petterson’s novel is truly amazing. I read it in the original Norwegian, but I have heard that Anne Born’s English translation is very worthy. The Independent certainly thought so, awarding it the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for 2006.
The novel is about finding yourself, understanding yourself, and accepting yourself. The story unfolds in Norway, along the border with Sweden, traveling smoothly back and forth in time between the 1940’s and late 1999. Nature has a strong presence, but it does not invade the story.
Mostly it’s Petterson’s economy of language that highlights the depth of feeling in the novel. When Trond moves in his twilight years to an isolated cottage along a river that he expects to make his final home, he runs into someone who evokes memories of his past.
I could not put it down, and it touched me deeply.