Publication Date: Available now from Arcadia Books.
Source: Publisher Review Copy.
Pal has a shameful secret that has dragged him into huge debt, and he is desperate that his teenage daughters and ex-wife don’t find out. Sixteen-year-old Sandra also has a secret. She’s in love with the delinquent Daniel William, a love so strong and pure that nothing can get in its way. Cecilie has the biggest secret of them all, a baby growing inside her. But she’s trapped in her small-time, criminal existence, and dreams of an escape from it all. Over three fateful September days, these lives cross in a whirlwind of brutality, laughter, tragedy, and love that will change them forever. A fast-paced, moving, and darkly funny page-turner.
An absolutely fabulous book that really shouldnt work but does, manages to gently roll along whilst at the same time being fast paced and highly addictive, and to top it all off it is at times hilariously funny. Sometimes in that way where you know you SHOULDN’T be laughing but you will anyway. Sometimes because it is just simply ironically humerous in that way that touches you on a human level. It was described as 600 pages of pure energy and that really about covers it.
At its basic level it is simply a story of people. Lives that clash unexpectedly and suddenly over the course of a few days, changing those lives forever. A more eclectic and strange yet wonderful group of characters you will be hard put to find anywhere else, but they are all intriguing, full of depth and substance and will become as real to you as anyone in your life over the course of that few days you live with them. I read about half of the book in one huge gulp then forced myself to slow down, not wanting it to end, not wanting to leave them behind me but to keep following on with them. One of those novels that won’t let you go even when you put it down, here is yet another strong contender for my top 10 of the year.
There are many themes interwoven into the narrative – addiction, violence, love, loss, the things we will do for those we care about, the lengths we will go to in order to protect our self image and self worth. It is often brutal, occasionally heart wrenching, a real window into the soul of humanity in all its forms. Intelligently done and beautifully written with some stunning prose, chapter after chapter you will fall more and more under the spell of the world the author has created here. Authentic, genuinely fascinating and with great psychological depth, it is a truly amazing reading experience.
I won’t give anything away. To do so would absolutely spoil the joy of this. But in summary, some quirky and original characters, an intense and realistic storyline and some absolutely incredible writing make this without doubt one of the top reads of 2014. Don’t worry what your comfort zone is – this book at some point will hit all reading comfort zones. Just let yourself go and enjoy.
Five shiny “do not miss this book” stars and an elephant for this one. Hey I can be quirky as well….
Tore Renberg shares his thoughts on the book in an interview with Foyles
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NB: The Hardback is absolutely gorgeous with its stunning red edged pages – if you are a collector and not just a reader I highly recommend you go for that version!
Happy Reading Folks!