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En ny tid

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  618 ratings  ·  104 reviews
I 1904 kommer en ung friskolelærerinde til Thyregod, hvor hun hurtigt gifter sig med distriktslægen, dr. Bagge. Efter 23 års barnløst ægteskab dør lægen, og fru Bagge skal i gang med et nyt selvstændigt liv. Romanen er hendes dagbog fra en tid med mange omvæltninger.
Hardcover, 209 pages
Published September 2015 by Gyldendal
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  618 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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I feel like a person standing in a landscape so empty and open that it matters not a bit in which direction I choose to go. There would be no difference: north, south, east or west, it would be the same wherever I went.


Thyregod, Denmark at the beginning of the 20th Century. Through diary entries, Ida Jessen conveys the life of a schoolteacher, Lilly Høy, starting with recounts of her visits to her husband Vigand Bagge who is in the hospital in another town, over her response to his death and
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars. Two GR friends who I admire greatly gave this book 5 stars — I believe that was the impetus for me to hunt this book down. I was not disappointed. It is a little book 5 inches by 6 inches, with French covers, 236 pages. It was originally published in Danish in 2015 (En ny tid) and published/translated in English in 2019.

It is written in the form of a diary. I thought that was interesting. The first two entries were brief:
• January 3, 1904, I am on my way now. Everything is packed. I hav
Laura Anne
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book odd in some ways and quietly refreshing in others. The story follows the entries in Lilly Høy's diary covering a period of her life from January 3 1904 to November 1 1932. Although this in itself causes the first of the oddities - she only keeps this diary for just over a year when she first moves to Thyregod as a new teacher in the folk school. Many years later, in fact 22 years later as her husband is in hospital dying, she finds the diary and starts to keep new entries which ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, denmark
Award-winning Danish author Ida Jessen tells the story of a teacher who, after losing her husband, has to make a new life for herself - what makes this novella so compelling is the voice of the widow as the unreliable narrator who slowly reveals the true nature of her marriage, and the possible contrasts between her and the reader's assessment of her husband's behavior. On top of that, Jessen paints a vivid picture of rural Denmark in the early 20th century and the dynamics in the town which are ...more
An intensely quiet, private novel told in diary entries as a schoolteacher in Denmark in the 20th-century deals with her husband's passing and sifts through her memories. The language is luminous and precise, rendered in a beautiful translation by Martin Aitken. The narrator herself is prickly, odd, thoughtful, and unique, and her relationship with her husband reveals itself slowly. Rural Danish society is slowly brought to life. A small gem. ...more
A layered unfolding of a woman's life, subtle and exquisite. Its quietness hides human depth and unexpectedness. Something makes me want not to say more, to keep it a secret beyond the few quotations I have posted, to allow others to discover it on their own.

Because of its understatement and a structure that weaves back and forth in time, there will be more hidden connections to discover -- as there were when I returned to the beginning to retrace a strand of the tale. So the pleasure of re-read
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fru Bragge, a 40-ish diarist who lives in the rural village of Thyregod, Denmark -- the same town the author grew up in -- is married to the older handsome and stoic physician, Vergand, who regards humanity with the cold detachment of a scientist. His death frees her to capture and rebuild what has been missing in her life -- warmth, tenderness, and a feeling of possibility.

The rhythm of nature and the goings-on of the townspeople are meshed with the narrator's thoughts as she gradually comes to
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come.
Kasa Cotugno
Ida Jessen has deservedly won awards for this novel, and hopefully this won't be her last work in English. A Change in Time takes the form of a diary of a woman in her late 30's, who had been married to the town doctor. As the pieces of her life are revealed, the final picture as well as her name do not emerge until late. Jenssen sets her story in the rural Denmark of the late 1920's, a time of transition and modernization, which has occurred more slowly than in other parts of the world. This is ...more
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was drawn to this book because of the Hammershøi piece on the cover - I love his paintings for their atmospheric quality, and it turns out that this is the perfect depiction of Jessen's novel. It is difficult to evaluate a translation (am I impressed by the author or the translator?) but I really enjoyed the sparse, simple narrative and the beauty of barren, rural Denmark. Just like Hammershøi's paintings, the writing here is full of subtlety and grace. ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating read and very atmospheric; moody. So much is told to us but not everything is revealed. We know her as Fru Bagge, she has just lost her husband, doctor Vigand Bagge. Story is laid out in form of journal entries, starting in 1905 to 1932.

Even good marriages are not all hunky-dory and as wives and mothers we ceaselessly compromise our autonomy over responsibility and overtime we are silenced and lose ourselves to a certain extent. That’s what has happened to Fru Bagge, in
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a tender, meditative book written in the form of diary entries by an on and off school teacher in a small town in rural denmark in the 1920s. the teacher, whose name is revealed, poignantly, only at the end (i won't spoil it for you because it's a sweet, sweet moment) starts to keep journal entries in earnest when her husband is in the hospital dying, and in fact writes consistently only when she is deeply alone, so that most of what we get from this book is how to live alone with snow a ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ida-jessen
This strange gravity, the peculiar peace that descends in the evenings when the houses turn inwards and people retire to bed. I have begun to expect it, to look forward. It requires so very little. That I am alone, and that darkness has fallen. That I light the lamp. That I gaze into its flame. I do not think of day. And yet that is untrue. If I am congealed fat, blood pulses nonetheless in my depths.
What will I do when he is no longer here? Who will then remind me of what I am to think? Who wi
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This epistolary novel is a quiet, intimate meditation on a woman's life in rural Denmark following her husband's death. A bit slow to reveal itself, it was ultimately a gorgeous read, and I'll look forward to more of Ida Jessen's work in English. ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
What an emotional experience reading this story turned out to be. It is made up of diary entries by a Danish woman, mostly written when she is approaching 50 in the late 1920s. Her husband of over 20 years is dying in hospital and she begins to record her thoughts and feelings over the next five years. These include recollections of her student days and her friends at that time, her innovative approach to schoolteaching, the people she knows after moving to Thyregod, her husband’s character and ...more
The Idle Woman
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I have just finished reading a really gorgeous little book: A Change of Time by the Danish author Ida Jessen. Through her diary, a widowed school-teacher in early 20th-century Denmark remembers her late husband and uses her loneliness as a spur to revisit her life and, slowly, anxiously, recover her sense of self. For once, cover and book coexist beautifully: Jessen's novel is like a Hammershøi in prose: a haunting, timeless, intimate exploration of loss, rendered by the translator Mart
A quietly beautiful meditation on longing and loneliness.
Chris Haak
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written short novel set in rural Denmark in 1927-32. The main character is a school teacher (married to the village doctor) and I just love her. She is a working woman in an age when not many women were working and she is a strong woman, which you notice especially when her husband dies. Of course she mourns her husband, and she feels vulnerable and lonely. But she is not afraid to make decisions, start driving a car, move houses, start a new life, having friends, and doing new thing ...more
A Change of Time is a beautiful novel, using diary form to trace the gradual reawakening of a woman whose marriage was a disappointment, to say the least. The jumps in time between entries and the narrator's own wandering thoughts, combined with her reticence to outright criticise her dead husband, means the reader very slowly pieces together the marital coldness and cruelty that gradually drained hope from the young teacher, and her growing discovery of her new freedom. It's a bit of a slow bur ...more
Sonia Almeida Dias
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Imagine that you are watching a Scandinavian movie with its slow pace and introspective mood and you will have the sense of what is reading this book.

Through the diary entries of a former school teacher we get a sense of how time changes, how we change with it, and how the world around us also evolves. There's this time element across the book, through the different seasons that follow each other, the comings and goings of people in our life, and the changes in everyday life.

I really enjoyed re
I liked the idea of this, but I found the execution and prose to be quite dull. There is an almost jarring quality to the writing, so I was constantly aware that I was reading a translated book. I gave up reading at around the 15% mark.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A Vilhelm Hammershøi piece seemed apt for this review. The book itself is a lovely ode to melancholy, to grief, to those who unravel the obliqueness of posthumous nature of their relationship; a freedom, of sorts.
Stephanie Jane
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-europe
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Another wonderful find from Archipelago Books who have made themselves easily one of my favourite publishers over the past few years. I can be confident when I spot one of their distinctively styled book covers that the enclosed work will be worth a look and A Change Of Time is no exception. This novella is an insightful portrayal of one woman's quiet life, lived in the shadow and to the expectations of her overbearing husband. This isn't a s
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written and gentle tale is a real joy. Set in the village of Thyregod in rural Denmark, in the early 20th century and narrated in a series of diary entries, it’s the story of Fru Bagge, who, as the book opens is visiting her sick husband in hospital. He’s always been a cold and undemonstrative man, domineering and unsympathetic to her needs, and even on his death-bed makes no attempt to communicate with her. After his death she begins to look back over her life and prepare for h ...more
Madhuri Palaji
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Change of Time by Ida Jessen is an engaging book. I received a free copy for an honest review from Edelweiss+. This book, I must say, is very unique. The story is set up in 20th century in Denmark. The story unravels itself through the pages of a diary. A woman who just lost her husband struggles to establish her identity as an individual. The sudden freedom in the protagonist's life is too overwhelming for her and she finds a way to find solitude in her loneliness.

The book feels like a poetr
Maggie Rotter
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short quiet book embodies two qualities that are so compelling to this older reader. First, the moving introduction to a woman in the later years of her life who is prodded by circumstances to examine that life and make sense of it. Second, the convincing conclusion that the value of the whole of that life is not spoiled by what is passed, but is illuminated and made worthwhile by that understanding.
Justin Evans
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Pull a blanket over your knees, warm up the hot chocolate, and get contemplative. This is a wonderful, intelligent, beautiful book. Rare indeed that--plot spoiler--I enjoy a book with a happy ending quite this much. Jessen translated Marilyn Robinson; this book is like if Gilead was (even) more pleasurable to read.
A quiet, melancholy book, interspersed with moments of coziness and natural beauty, written in the form of a schoolteacher’s journal in the months after her husband dies. She asks, what is love / community / passion, eventually reaching a conclusion for herself. It’s the exact kind of story I love.
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
3,5 stars.

Very compelling voice, almost whispering to us straight from the deepest recesses of her mind and personality.
Wonderful ambiance. One really feels transported to 1920's Denmark.

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Nordic Book Club: July 2019 - A Change of Time 1 7 Jul 31, 2019 09:53AM  

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Ida Jessen, Danish author. Born 1964 in Sønderjylland. She holds an M.A. in History of Literature and Communication from Århus University 1990. Ida Jessen made her literary debut in 1989 with the collection of short stories Under sten (Under Stones) and has since then written a number of novels and short stories for both children and adults. Since 1995 she has lived on Sealand. Jessen has translat ...more

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