The Knife in the Fire is a riveting historical novel about work and love, strong communities, and carefree erotica, the individual and the community.
The year is 1859. Brita Caisa Seipajærvi straps on her skis and takes the long road from Finland to Norway with her two children. Brita Caisa has been disciplined by the church for having an affair with a married man. She can heal animals and humans. The destination for their journey is Bugøynes, where the sea is said to be brimming with cod.
The Knife in the Fire is the first title in the Ruijan rannalla/Songs from the Arctic Ocean series, about Finnish Kvens and the landscape they live in. Brita Caisa was the great-great-grandmother of author Ingeborg Arvola. Arvola’s writing evokes the smell of blood after slaughtering reindeer, the taste of cloudberries, the feeling of coldness from the snow and heat from the fire.
WINNER OF THE BRAGE PRIZE FOR BEST WORK OF FICTION 2022
NOMINATED TO NORDIC COUNCIL LITERATURE PRIZE 2023
NOMINATED FOR THE BOOKSELLER'S AWARD 2022
NOMINATED FOR THE CRITIC'S AWARD 2022
NOMINATED FOR THE YOUTH CRITIC'S AWARD 2022
The Knife in the Fire is a magnificent epic tale by Ingeborg Arvola. A fascinating and riveting read, with an ending promising for a future continuation. And yes, the publisher promises that there will be a trilogy. ******
A dramatic, poetic and steamy novel sets the bar high
[M]ore than anything, it's the forbidden attraction and love between Brita Caisa and the married Askan Mikko that gives the story its force. It's been long since bodies and desire have been portrayed so nakedly and simply put, sexy, in a Norwegian book! A sensuous, realistic and very poetic novel.
This really is an absolute treat of a novel. *****
Juicy sex and unbridled desire
... Bestseller-potential. ... a riveting novel about love, work and superstition. ... historically interesting. ... can be read in one lustful rush. *****
There is much to like about this novel, dealing with an less communicated part of the Norwegian, Sami and Kven history. The writing is excellent, the story is exciting and dramatic, the descriptions of the landscape are beautiful, and the character descriptions are realistic. *****
Most exciting is the descriptions of the love between Brita Caisa and the married farmer Mikko, with intensely sensual erotic writing as a result. Together they are greater than his bible and triumphing the judgement by society.
Forbidden love, boiling arctic fishing and warm hands. Ingeborg Arvola's novel set in Northern Norway has everything required to become a bestseller. ... lovesickness this hot – and equally steamy lovemaking – I have not encountered in a Norwegian novel in quite some time.
Oh my, The Knife in the Fire is a good book ... Human and nature really melt together when Brita and Mikko are alone (without clothes) in the dead of night. And here Arvola writes so intensely and powerfully that the reading glasses fog up to ... All in all, Arvola writes really, really well. Insanely well, in fact. Like a dream you didn't know you were walking around with.
BERLINGSKE (DENMARK), five/six stars
A fascinating novel about the problems of cohabitation among nomads in Lapland.