Description: Just before Christmas on a farm in Northern Norway, 80-year-old Anna Neshov, matriarch of a troubled family, is taken gravely ill. Her three sons have been quietly immersed in their work: one an undertaker, one a window-dresser, and the eldest running the family farm, but now they are forced to reunite for the first time in many years. Their personalities are as disparate as their careers, and tensions mount from the second they meet, climaxing over Christmas dinner when the matter of inheritance prompts the revelation of disturbing family secrets. Anne B. Ragde has created an engrossing dark comedy brought vividly to life through extraordinary characters. While perfectly in tune with their professions the Neshov sons as a family are little short of dysfunctional; nevertheless, the real theme of the novel is a sense of belonging. The farm itself defines this, with its power to draw people back to their roots, whether they like it or not.
Withdrawn from Leeds City Library. Paperback with poly-wally cover. Ooo – someone owed £1:20 in library fees.
Translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson.
Opening: ‘Come quickly,’ she whispered. ‘Do come quickly…’
I hope the next two are translated sooner rather than later as there are characters I would like to meet again – especially Erland and Crumb, where I imagine them like:
Behind the story lies another, darker sides of family life, and behind both lies yet another – Speer’s Nordstern.
German archival photo of Trondheim and the Trondheimsfjord, November 1942.
A recognition drawing of Tirpitz prepared by the US Navy