What initially drew me to this book was that I love Nordic Noir, so the idea of exploring modern family life via an Norwegian author really appealed tWhat initially drew me to this book was that I love Nordic Noir, so the idea of exploring modern family life via an Norwegian author really appealed to me. The dark, moody, and morally complex feel of Nordic Noir shoved its head up a few times in this book. Mostly when I least expected it, and I loved the unsettled thoughts that the characters pondered over. But it also spilled over with humour, and emotion as well as the darker elements. It felt like life, where your mood jumps around from hour to hour.
When the parents of Liv, Ellen, and Håkon decide to divorce, even though they are all adults and living lives completely independent of their parents, this shatters through their lives. They have grown up hearing how important it was to see things through and now their parents are pulling back on that, and it pulls the rug out from under their belief systems.
They are re-examining their lives, and as the hierarchy of positions in their family changes, they all have to change along with that. Their current relationships are also thrown into turmoil, while they deal with the fallout. All three characters are so well developed and nuanced that I loved spending time with them. Actually I’d love to sit down and have an open, honest discussion with them and hear firsthand their intriguing theories on life and love and family. And thinking about it, that’s what reading it felt like.
This novel has convinced me that if Helga Flatland is representative of Norwegian authors, then I need to jam pack my bookshelves with their books.
Who should read A Modern Family by Helga Flatland?
I’d strong recommend this book if you love nuanced characters, deep dive explorations into family life and provocative thoughts to ponder over. Fans of authors such as Celeste Ng, Louise Beech and Anne Tyler may also enjoy.
Thanks to Orenda Books for letting me participate in this blog tour, and for giving me the book for review consideration. As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.
A Year of Second Chances by Kendra Smith nearly lost me at the very start. So many things annoyed me, so even I am surprised that by the end of the boA Year of Second Chances by Kendra Smith nearly lost me at the very start. So many things annoyed me, so even I am surprised that by the end of the book, that everything had picked up sufficiently for to reverse my initial doubts.
What Bothered Me
- Two characters were shoplifters. One because she was trying to spice up turning 50. I was staring at the page thinking WHAT! - Then there was inaccuracy about how long an IVF procedure would be. - A child knew how to pronounce cleavage cos “she heard mummy use the word when she was on-line shopping”. HOW do you hear online shopping. Urrggh.
So I very nearly put down the book and moved on. But something stopped me, I still felt the book had potential.
And the more I read, the more I enjoyed the characters, their various journeys and the laughs, cries and screaming matches they had together. I could relate to the themes about infertility and getting older and wanting more. The mix of characters added balance as they all were at such different stages in life, but united in their yearning to achieve their dreams.
I thought the author made me feel emotional as I read. And I had a few laughs, and surprises along the way. So despite the very rocky start, I’m glad I read this one.
WHO SHOULD READ A YEAR OF SECOND CHANCES BY KENDRA SMITH? If you would be annoyed by the things I listed, then I don’t recommend this book. If however you are looking for a fun read, that also tackles emotional issues, then maybe this one would be for you.