A young mother follows her partner to a rural community in West Jutland, Denmark, where he teaches at the local school for adult education. Isolated, she is forced to find her way in a bewildering community and in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population.A young woman relocates to an outlying community in West Jutland, Denmark, and is forced to find her way, not only in the bewildering environment of the residential Folk High School, where her partner has been hired to teach, but also in the inscrutable conversational forms of the local population. And on top of it all, there’s the small matter of juggling her roles as mother to a newborn baby and advice columnist in the local newspaper. In this understated and hilarious novel, Stine Pilgaard conjures a tale of venturing into new and uncharted land, of human relationships, dilemmas, and the ways and byways of social intercourse.
“A master of irony lays down her weapons … a deliciously crumbly novel oozing with awkward love.” ―Weekendavisen
“A sheer delight: Stine Pilgaard has penned a perfect comedy about normalcy.” ―Dagbladet Information
“The book of the year ... an absolutely fabulous novel about adjusting to midlife in the back of beyond.” ―Jyllands-Posten
“Stine Pilgaard has a pronounced talent for parody. She can write in such a way as to make you laugh out loud, bringing into the open the things we find embarrassing, capturing the absurdities of everyday life. Her dialogues are natural and precise, her language clear and succinct, and her references plain and recognizable. But beneath the lightness of her prose lies something other and more than comedy and rhetoric.” ―Berlingske
“Another Pilgaard pearl ... too funny for words and at the same time so keenly intelligent in its depictions. You love her characters to bits and understand so well their faltering steps on the road to community. A book you’ll cherish reading―again and again and ...” ―Søndag
“Stine Pilgaard’s crisp prose and supreme timing can be spotted fifty books away ... an exquisite pearl of a book ... wonderfully funny, playful, and subtle in its crafting. But don’t be mistaken: beneath the humor there’s a worldly-wise voice with a finely honed ability to put into words all that’s profound and beautiful and good about life ... This is one of the best works of Danish literature I’ve read in ages.” ―Litteratursiden
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 32 members
If you need something light and humorous then this novel is for you. Translated from Danish, this is a book about a woman who moves to a new town with her boyfriend and newborn baby. Social chit chat was never her strong point so making friends and finding her feet is a tricky challenge. On the other hand, she excels at being the advice columnist for the local newspaper. Meanwhile she “wounds the professional pride” of all the local driving instructors by failing to grasp this apparently basic life skill. Eighty seven lessons later, she finally passed. Personally, I empathised. I also went through driving instructors like a can of Pringles.
Stine Pilgaard introduces the non Danish reader to the concept of hojskole (folk schools) and offers many laughs even whilst there is a tinge of loneliness to the story. This was quick and enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.
This is a sparkling intelligent novel looking at motherhood and fitting in in a new community
It has been translated from the original Norwegian with some additional notes that allow the uk reader to understand the difference between our education system as the book is set in a college type not seen in our system
I loved the letters the main character writes in her job as an agony aunt to a local rural newspaper and just wish we had such endearingly direct replies in our own local rag .They are witty but also perceptive
I loved the story of the young family settling to the differences in their new rural neighbourhood at the same time as struggling as surely we all do with the job of being parents to a newborn .
I found the book fresh and innovative ,I’ve not read anything quite like it
My only criticism was it seemed to end rather suddenly ,it was end of year ,students were off home and the book stops
I hope this means there will be a sequel
It would make a fantastic tv series
I read an early copy on NetGalley Uk the book is published 1st match 2022
Brilliantly written loved from beginning to end.A book that is funny a satire on small town living a commentary on the real world. I am so happy this well known author was translated to English,Hoping more will follow.Highly recommend this five star novel. #netgalley#worldeditions