Norwegian / Norway

Bare en time til
(Only one more hour)

Mathiassen, Sanne (text)
[Oslo]: Cappelen Damm, 2014. – 96 p.
ISBN 978-82-02-42061-1

Suicide | Grief | Mother / Daughter | Family | Winter

Eight footprints, dug up from the snow and preserved in the freezer – that’s all that’s left of her. The narrator’s mother committed suicide, and these preserved footprints are her last physical connection to her. They are gradually vanishing as the girl keeps taking one out to feel close to her mother. She has no one else: Her father is depressive, her aunt is caught up in an unsentimental pragmatism, her sister is young and annoying, her therapist is strange, and Jonas, oh Jonas, he’s also not the real thing. Outside, the northern Norwegian winter bears down on the land with its eternal darkness, snow, and icy winds.

Along with its dialogue and character portraits, the very vivid and plausible setting of ≫Bare en time til≪ brings to mind Norwegian films such as ≫Eggs.≪. Like that film, this novel skirts the grotesque as it alternates between tragedy and comedy. This is shown, for instance, in the image of the frozen foot prints, which have about them something at once poetic and also blackly humorous.
(Age: 14+)