After a long journey through Norway, Ingrid has finally returned to Barrøy. Life has become more stable, but the war still casts its long shadows across the country. Former collaborators face cold shoulders or obscured retaliation. Others simply wish to leave the painful years in the past.
One day a boy arrives on the island. Shortly thereafter, his father disappears. Ingrid assumes responsibility for the boy, and adopts him. As such, Mathias becomes a central part of the Barrøy community, together with Kaja, Ingrid’s daughter by birth.
Life on the island is demanding, but the letters from friends in Oslo and Trondheim tell of a Norwegian society undergoing dramatic changes. Which stories should Ingrid keep to herself, and which ones should she bring to light? What kind of future is she imagining?
Only a Mother is the fourth book in a series of novels that have delighted readers in Norway and abroad. It’s a novel about being a parent, being a part of a community, and about living under conditions that require hard labour. It is also a story about parts of our near past that have stayed in the dark. And it’s about an unusual woman, who has to navigate painful experiences in a rough, weather-beaten, and diverse society on the coast of Northern Norway.
I demand that this book be read […] Roy Jacobsen writes truthfully, tenderly and sharply about the everyday heroes of toil and care.
STAVANGER AFTENBLAD, NORWAY
The middle-aged woman and the sea […] sparkling depiction of coastal life […]
Roy Jacobsen has added a new chapter to his masterpiece. […]
It is a pure pleasure to read Roy Jacobsen’s novel Only a Mother. […] Only a Mother is a novel that keeps the reader captivated from the first to the last sentence.
Roy Jacobsen has written a beautiful and intense novel. […] poetic, virtuoso, warm and beautiful. […] No one describes the coastal and cultural history of the Helgeland coast as Roy Jacobsen.
Roy Jacobsen raises the bar in the last volume […] Jacobsen stands out with a luminous mother portrait […] the best Roy Jacobsen has written about life on the Helgeland coast […]
The past as a mirror for the present […] Roy Jacobsen’s stories about the islanders on the Helgeland coast gradually resemble a magnificent saga about the basic human conditions in the struggle with nature. […] Roy Jacobsen’s own words that “a historical novel should be a contemporary novel” feel true. The author is a master of dialogues where secrets and trivialities form minefields and tensions.