Kathleen's Reviews > I Curse the River of Time

I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson
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Aug 08, 10

Read in August, 2010

I loved Out Stealing Horses - love, love, loved it - and would have rushed right out to read everything Petterson has ever written, if only I could read Norwegian. I didn't know I Curse the River of Time was even out until my husband gave it to me for our anniversary, and I dove right in.

Right away, I was filled with a sense of foreboding. It is dark, deep, powerful, and I couldn't put it down, even though it was profoundly unsettling. It is the story of a thirty-something man reeling from his impending divorce and his mother's cancer diagnosis. He recalls his courtship with his wife - a blissful, beautiful love story with no hint of what's to come - and decades of awkwardness with his mother. There are perceived slights and real rejections, and no hint that he will drop everything to be with her in her final days. These two women - the wife who has adored him, but eventually rejects him, and the mother who he fears has never loved him enough - shape his life completely.

I Curse the River of Time is a beautiful book, but it's no Out Stealing Horses. Petterson worked with a different translator this time, and I wonder why, and how much of a difference that makes. And I wish I could read Norwegian.
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