A group of children inherit an elemental paradise on earth in Roy Jacobsen's phenomenally bestselling new novel about love, poverty and tragedy in early twentieth century Norway
Barrøy Island off the North-western coast of Norway - a holdfast for a single family, their livestock, their crops, their hopes and dreams. And their fears. There is a taint passed down the Barrøy line, and Hans and Maria Barrøy fear their daughter Ingrid may be affected.
The early years of the twentieth century prove that Norway cannot stand apart from the wider world - no more than Barrøy island can remain at a remove from the rest of Norway. Hans Barrøy decides to build a quay so that his family can be properly connected to the mainland and with neighbouring islands.
In time, Ingrid is sent to serve with one of the rich families on the coast, caring for their two children. But when tragedy strikes - twice in quick succession - she finds herself responsible not only for two newly orphaned children, but for Barrøy Island itself. If they are to survive, she and the other young must learn how to tame this remote earthly paradise for themselves.
(P)2016 W F Howes Ltd
Roy Jacobsen has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council's Literary Award: for Seierherrene in 1991, and Frost in 2003, and in 2009 he was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Award for his novel The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles.
Even by his high standards, his magnificent new novel The Unseen is Jacobsen's finest to date, as blunt as it is subtle and is easily among the best books I have ever read. — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times.
A beautifully crafted novel . . . Quite simply a brilliant piece of work . . . Rendered beautifully into English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw, The Unseen is a towering achievement that would be a deserved Booker International winner. — Charlie Connolly, New European.
A profound interrogation of freedom and fate, as well as a fascinating portrait of a vanished time, written in prose as clear and washed clean as the world after a storm. — Justine Jordan, Guardian.
The subtle translation, with its invented dialect, conveys a timeless, provincial voice . . . The Unseen is a blunt, brilliant book. — Tom Graham, Financial Times.
A modern masterpiece . . . A central novel in Norwegian literature. — Klassekampen.
This is simply a beautiful and moving read . . . A master's hand turning the small into the great. — V.G.
Roy Jacobsen at his very best . . . A fantastic novel. — Dagbladet.
Jacobsen's lyrical voice has been gorgeously translated into English by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw — Misha Hoekstra, The Riveter
This beautifully atmospheric novel, set on a small island off Norway, where weather and the power of the sea shape lives, is a compelling story of one family, generations of which have lived on the island that bears the family name. — Books of the Year, Glasgow Herald.
A beautiful and rich depiction of place and of family life . . . an outstanding achievement. — New European, Books of the Year.