One of Norway’s most distinguished voices, Agnes Ravatn’s first novel to be published in the UK was The Bird Tribunal. It won an English PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and the Petrona Award, and was adapted for a BBC Book at Bedtime.
She returns now with a dark, powerful and deeply disturbing psychological thriller about family, secrets and dangerous curiosity…
University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and Ingeborg pay her a visit.With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt.
Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.
Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007.Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility.
Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award, shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015.
Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.
I think Orenda Books (the publisher) is just so brilliant, bringing amazing international voices to an English readership. This book is one such example.
Inspired in part by the fairy tale Bluebeard (Angela Carter’s version is my favourite), this tale of a missing woman with a tragic history, and a literature professor searching for answers was right up my street.
I wanted to sit in on Nina’s lectures on Greek tragedy (I’m a literature graduate and I love Greek plays) and I liked her theory on why people like me would make good investigators.
As Nina unravels the life of the missing Mari and tries to find out what became of her, her personal life and her job start to suffer. Could they be related? Does someone close to her hold the key to Mari’s disappearance?
This was such a good read, I thoroughly enjoyed it, the author is brilliant and I could happily wax poetic on how everyone should read it.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.