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Child wonder - Roy Jacobsen

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Child wonder
Roy Jacobsen
Paperback / softback
MacLehose Press
UK Publication Date

Finn lives with his mother in an apartment block in a working-class suburb of Oslo. It is 1961, a time when 'men became boys and housewives women', the year the Berlin Wall is erected and Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to travel into space. Life is electrical, beautiful and stubbornly social-democratic. One day a mysterious half-sister appears 'with an atom-charge in a light blue suitcase', and she turns his life upside-down. Over an everlasting summer, Finn attempts to grasp the incomprehensible adult world and his place within it. His mother appears to carry a painful secret, but one which pushes them ever further apart. And why is his new sister so different from every other child?

Child Wonder is a powerful and unsentimental portrait of childhood, a coming-of-age novel full of light and warmth. Through the eyes of a child Roy Jacobsen has captured the complexities of his characters through their actions, and has produced an immensely uplifting novel that shines with humanity.

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Roy Jacobsen has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council's Literary Award: for Seierherrenein 1991, and Frostin 2003, and in 2009 he was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Award for his novel The Burnt-out Town of Miracles.

'A book that makes you laugh and cry - what more can you wish for? ... Child Wonder is nothing less than a perfect masterpiece.' Dagsavisen.

'What a wonderful novel!' V.G.

'Jacobsen's novel could be a nostalgia-fest but avoids this fate through the precision and unadorned clarity of its prose . There is nothing cosy or sentimental in this picture of a childhood of barely respectable poverty, in which family tensions are quite literally papered over with fashionable wallpaper . A wonderful coming of age novel by this Norwegian author whom I hope we shall come to know better in English' Sarah Bower, Historical Novels Society.

'[An] intricately worked novel, as rich in detail and implication as it is classical in construction and stylistic restraint' Paul Binding, Independent.

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Keyword Index
Brothers and sisters - Fiction.|Family secrets - Fiction.|Oslo (Norway) - Fiction.|Bildungsromans.
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