Bleak. I recommend reading Per Petterson’s novel, I Curse the River of Time, on sunny days only. This melancholy story can bum out the most cheery reader when clouds are present. In 1989, protagonist Arvid Jansen finds everything changing, and not necessarily for the better: his mother is dying of cancer, he and his wife are getting a divorce, and communism is falling. Looking back at his life thus far, Arvid searches for understanding and meaning to discover what can be ahead for him. The writing is spare and Arvid’s memories expose complicated relationships and choices that are both in the open and developed unspoken in a rich interior life. There is a rich reality about relationships, life and death on these pages, and Petterson’s writing is outstanding. For those readers who can handle melancholy, this novel is fine choice.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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