ABOUT THE BOOK:
One of Norway’s most distinguished voices, Agnes Ravatn’s first
novel to be published in the UK was The Bird Tribunal. It won an
English PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Dublin
Literary Award and the Petrona Award, and was adapted for a
BBC Book at Bedtime. She returns now with a dark, powerful and
deeply disturbing psychological thriller about family, secrets and
University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems
increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home,
relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their
beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own,
things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it
disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and
Ingeborg pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina
has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her
own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it
seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her
and her family.
Having read Agnes’s previous book The Bird Tribunal I was keen to get my mitts on a copy The Seven Doors. And I was not disappointed, I loved it! But having said that this might not be a book for everyone. It is a dark , very dark psychological thriller. As dark and bleak as a Norwegian winter; but hey some people like winter as a season. No accounting for taste.
The story starts out with University professor Nina who is not happy at her work which is becoming more and mote irrelevant and her marriage to her husband is also under strain. He is never home. Also they need to find a new home to replace her home which is due for demolition.
Also her daughter Ingeborg and her family are looking for a new home. There is one possibility, another home that the family own. There is only one problem, it has a sitting tenant, who mysteriously vanishes the day after Nina and Ingeborg visit the property and leaves her young son with his grandparents.
The lack of clues soon finds the police investigation stumbling to a halt and Nina finds herself the only person willing to dig for the truth but the more she digs the more fingers may be pointing at her and her own family!
As I’ve said a dark and brooding book that has you thinking, the plot is deliciously creepy and twisty. Look out for red herrings. The prose is crisp and sharp and of a high quality. One other thing that may disturb some readers is the lack of quotation marks but personally I thinks it adds to the subject matter.
Thanks to Agnes for the story,
Orenda books for the ARC, and also Anne Cater for the tour invite.
THE LONG-AWAITED NEW NOVEL
FROM THE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF
THE BIRD TRIBUNAL
Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her
literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she
has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections:
Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and
Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works,
Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility.
Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international
bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award,
shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a
BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered
in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.