The protagonist in Hedda Robertsen’s new novel, Room 66, clearly shares characteristics with the author. She—a young author living near Oslo’s oldest church—devours books and films about nuns and monastic life. She dreams of renouncing desire, of purity, a strict and regimented life characterised by routine and dedication to a task, a calling.
But other forces also tug at her: she hungers for genuine connections with other people—with men. After several encounters with a nameless mechanic, she hires a car and heads south. Alone. Her destination? A convent in France.
We also meet Chris. Single mother by day, stripper by night. At the club, she goes by Alice. Chléo is a receptionist and works at a beach hotel in France. Iris is a nun, and every morning she puts on her black habit and goes to prayer with her head bowed. Emma lives in London and lives in a sexless relationship with architect James. She starts sleeping with random men.
The five women find one another and share their stories of love, grief, loss and passion.
«It's an interesting and at times intelligent book about finding yourself sexually, but also as a human.»
STAVANGER AFTENBLAD, five/six stars
«To write about sex without it being awkward can be considered an achievement, and Room 66 is closer to Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac than Fifty Shades of Gray. The novel's extent of references and cultural undertones has higher intellectual ambitions, which is a breath of fresh air for Norwegian fiction.»
«It's refreshing that Robertsen allows her characters to be unrestrained, and never forces them to be moral or politically correct. When the characters want to be beaten, filled - desired and enjoyed, they are more worried about how it will affect themselves, than how the actions are read by fellow citizens and society. They are all prepared to sacrifice the conventional to experience the special.»
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