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Six Degrees of Separation – From What Are You Going Through to Notes from a Small Island

Six Degrees of Separation is a meme hosted by Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best. It works like this: each month a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six others to form a chain. A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the titles on the list, …

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Cover image for Friendship by Lars Saabye Christensen

Friendship by Lars Saabye Christensen (transl. Don Bartlett): ‘Can everything go back to how it was?’

Lars Saabye Christensen’s new novel is the second instalment of his Echoes of the City trilogy. The first, which gives the series its name, opened in 1947 telling the story of post-war Oslo through the Kristoffersen family. Spanning just over a year, Friendship picks up their story in 1956 with Maj still treasurer of the …

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Cover image for The Survivors by Alex Schulman

The Survivors by Alex Schulman (transl. Rachel Willson-Broyles): ‘Where are my brothers?’

It was its Swedish setting that attracted me to Alex Schulman’s The Survivors which came my way at a time when I was remembering holidays past, including one taken on the Gothenburg archipelago many years ago. It’s about a family who holiday every year at the same isolated lakeside cottage until, one summer, a dramatic …

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Cover image for Oh William! by Elaizabeth Strout

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout: ‘We are all mysteries, is what I mean’

My sense of time has been off during the pandemic: sometimes an event seems as if it was just the other day, others years ago, both assumptions often prove to be wrong. Perhaps that’s why I was surprised to spot a new Elizabeth Strout in the publishing schedules, convinced that Olive, Again was only published …

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Cover image for Trust by Domenico Starneone

Trust by Domenico Starnone (transl. Jhumpa Lahiri): A life in three parts

Back in 2017 I reviewed Domenico Starnone’s Ties, remarking on its explosive opening letters from a furious wife to her unfaithful husband. It was Jhumpa Lahiri’s translation that attracted me to the novel but it was my enjoyment of it that made me put my hand up for Trust. As Lahiri notes in her afterword, …

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