I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the stunningly beautiful A Modern Family by Helga Flatland, translated by Rosie Hedger. Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this memorable book.
About the book:
The Norwegian Anne Tyler makes her English debut in a beautiful, bittersweet novel of rich insights and extraordinary perception, as a family drama creates a quiet earthquake…
‘The most beautiful, elegant writing I’ve read in a long time. If you love Anne Tyler, you will ADORE this’ Joanna Cannon
‘Absolutely loved its quiet, insightful generosity’ Claire King
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 bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…
About the author:
Helga Flatland is already one of Norway’s most awarded and widely read
authors. Born in Telemark, Norway, in 1984, she made her literary debut in 2010 with the novel Stay If You Can, Leave If You Must, for which she was awarded the Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Prize.
She has written four novels and a children’s book and has won several other literary awards. Her fifth novel, A Modern Family, was published to wide acclaim in Norway in August 2017, and was a number-one bestseller. The rights have subsequently been sold across Europe and the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies.
Oh wow, what a special and beautifully written book this is! A Modern Family is the new novel by acclaimed Norwegian author Helga Flatland, and has been stunningly translated by the talented Rosie Hedger.
It tells the bittersweet story of one family’s struggle to cope with their parents decision to divorce after more than 40 years of marriage. Liv, Ellen and Håkon are blindsided by the news that Sverre and Torrell are planning to live separate lives, and it forces them to reevaluate everything they thought they knew about not only their own parents, but also their own shared childhoods and family history.
This is a book that got right under my skin, making me think of my own family and how something totally shocking and unexpected can happen that changes everything in the blink of an eye. I think this story had such a profound effect on me as I do have experience of life changing in seconds, meaning family life will never be the same again. And A Modern Family brought all of those feelings to the forefront of my mind, putting me through an emotional wringer as I experienced every moment alongside Liv and Ellen, as they tried to navigate their way through this ‘new normal’ way of life for their family.
But as with all families there is so much more going on beneath the surface, things each sibling is keeping close to their chest, with each one remembering the events of the past in a different way to the other. This is a book that delves deep into family relationships and the secrets we keep from each other. It’s a book about having regrets and the importance of not leaving it too late to put things right. But ultimately it shows how delicately intricate each piece of a family puzzle is, the ups and downs each person goes through as they navigate their way throughout the years and how it’s never too late, no matter how old you are, to take your life in a new direction.
I can’t even put into words how much I loved this book. This family felt as real to me as my own and I savoured every beautifully written word, not wanting the time to come when I would finally have to say goodbye to these characters I had come to love so much.
Liv and Ellen’s stories resonated with me the most, but I grew attached to every character and felt bereft when I came to the end of a story so rich and complex that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
A beautiful and moving read to remember, A Modern Family is easily one of my favourite books of the years so far. Simply stunning.
A Modern Family by Helga Flatland is available to buy now: Amazon UK
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