The fourth installment in Roy Jacobsen’s bestselling Barrøy Chronicles.
After a long journey through Norway, Ingrid has returned to Barrøy, the island that bears her family name. The Second World War still casts its long shadow: former collaborators face cold shoulders, while others wish to leave the painful years in the past. When a boy arrives on the island, Ingrid assumes responsibility for him, and so he joins the Barrøy community, raised alongside Ingrid’s own daughter, another child of war.
As letters from distant friends arrive with news of a society undergoing dramatic changes, Ingrid must decide which stories to keep to herself, and which she should she bring to light. What kind of future does she imagine—for herself, and for the children?
Praise for Just a Mother
“Just a Mother, first published in Norwegian in 2020 and now once again co-translated with great skill by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, is the longest and most engrossing of the series so far.”
—The Times Literary Supplement
“A beautifully written and profoundly moving exploration of conflict, love and human endurance.”
—St. Catherines Standard
Praise for the Barrøy Chronicles
“Richer, even more provocative … The heroine of Roy Jacobsen’s White Shadow knows every inch of her home turf, a tiny island off the coast of northern Norway that her people have inhabited for generations.”
—Alida Becker, New York Times
“Disarmingly plainspoken narration brings into sharp relief both individuals and a world in wartime crisis.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Jacobson offers a portrait of a woman who is single-minded but not rigidly so, purposeful but not devoid of feeling … The intensity of feeling just beyond the actions described, and the effort itself of forging language to capture their evanescent reality, seems like a literary accomplishment in the family of more overtly ‘sophisticated’ novelists like Thomas Bernhard or W. G. Sebald.”
“The subtle translation, with its invented dialect, conveys a timeless, provincial voice … The Unseen is a blunt, brilliant book.”