I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the moving and insightful One Last Time by Helga Flatland. Thank you as always to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
About the book:
Anne’s life is rushing to an unexpected and untimely end. But her diagnosis of terminal cancer isn’t just a shock for her – and for her daughter Sigrid and granddaughter Mia – it shines a spotlight onto their fractured and uncomfortable relationships.
A spur-of-the moment trip to France acts as a catalyst for the three generations of women to reveal harboured secrets, long-held frustrations and suppressed desires – and to learn humbling and heartwarming lessons about how life should be lived when death is so close.
With all of Helga Flatland’s trademark insight, sharp yet warm wit and deep empathy, One Last Time examines the great dramas that can be found in ordinary lives, asks the questions that matter to us all – and ultimately celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. An enchantingly beautiful novel that urges us to treasure what we have and rethink how we live our lives, from one of Norway’s most distinguished literary novelists.
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 (her first English translation), 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. One Last Time was published in Norway in 2020, where it topped the bestseller lists, and was shortlisted for the Norwegian Booksellers
As someone who adored Helga Flatland’s previous novel A Modern Family, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on One Last Time and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint! Beautifully translated by Rosie Hedger, it is a deeply emotional read that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. I love Helga Flatland’s writing. She somehow manages to bring the complex lives of ordinary people vividly to life, exploring themes of family, relationships and fast approaching death with a warmth and empathy that moved me beyond words.
One Last Time tells the story of three women as they try to come to terms with the impending death of one of them. Anne has been disagnosed with terminal cancer and her life is fast approaching its end. A spur of the moment trip to France with her daughter Sigrid and granddaughter Mia brings long held secrets and hidden desires to the surface, leading all three women to reevaluate everything they thought they knew about each other and their relationships. Helga Flatland doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult subjects head on and handles them with a sensitivity and insightfulness that simply takes your breath away.
I loved this book so much! A heartbreaking and authentic story of love, loss and family, One Last Time is a celebration of life in all its messy glory, taking a look at the things that matter most to us and the lessons we should all learn, especially when death is drawing ever closer. Not an easy read by any means, but an important and beautifully written one that deals with the intricacies of not only life and relationships but also death and everything that goes along with it.
A highly accomplished novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, One Last Time is a heartachingly beautiful and moving story that will stay with me.
One Last Time by Helga Flatland (Translated by Rosie Hedger) is available to purchase now.
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