When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.
Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.
A Modern Family is quite simply one of the best books I’ve read this year so far, a beautifully lyrical, fully immersive drama, featuring one unforgettable family.
Helga Flatland uses such eloquent prose you sink into this one as three children reflect and attempt to understand their dynamic, following a shock announcement at a birthday celebration. Many hidden issues and realities come from darkness into light as they see their childhood and relationships to each other with new eyes – it is utterly compelling and as gripping as any thriller.
I didn’t do my oft binge read in one sitting with this one, it demanded a slow, considered reading, an understanding and contemplation of what the characters were going through. Every time I picked it up their realities and personalities became clearer, the heart of the novel holding insightful, thought provoking themes that make you think about your own family and your relationship to them.
Gorgeous. A literary gem, with delightfully talented writing and a huge dose of soul.