Angsten is a novel told in the first person about Edna, a nurse who cannot get rid of the thought that she should take the life of a patient she feels close to. The patient is an old road-builder who reminds her of her own grandfather, the person closest to her as she grew up.
Edna is a repressed person from a silent family, and she has a tense relationship with her own son, who is studying law in Oslo. She starts a relationship with a younger man, but doesn't manage to let that relationship develop either.
Edna expends much of her emotional energy on evaluating and judging herself. She is steadily pushing everything and everybody further away from herself.
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