Latest Reads: The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland. Nicolai Houm

Publication Date: 26th April from Pushkin Press

Source: Review Copy

An American woman wakes up alone in a tent in the Norwegian mountains. Outside a storm rages and the fog is dense. Her phone is dead. She doesn’t have a map or a compass or any food. 

How she ended up there, and the tragic events of her past emerges over the course of this slim, gripping novel.

This was a beautifully short, sweet and melancholy novel, speaking to the varying levels of grief – following the path of one woman, through her life, her loss and her coming to terms with everything that the universe throws at her.

We open with her alone on a mountain, cold, isolated – but how did she come to be there? What follows is a gorgeous and wonderfully layered portrait of Jane, what defines her, through childhood, adulthood, parenthood and a loss so terrible it is barely imaginable.

The characters, Jane and those around her, come to vividly haunting life as the author captures every nuance and essence with an insightful prose and some beautiful beautiful writing. The scene setting is descriptively perfect, allowing you to see in your mind’s eye the landscape through which Jane travels, eventually ending up on that eerily alluring stormy mountain.

I loved it. The whole story just drew me in and held me there for the whole of the read. Jane was fascinating and so very real, the author leaving us with an ending open to both hope and sorrow.

Really wonderful. A beautiful looking book too – worthy of a place on any true book lover’s shelf.

Highly Recommended.

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