This story focuses on Karolina Andersson. She is a (recently) single woman in her forties. She is an art history professor at Stockholm University.
I got sucked into the story early on. It is almost like you are a voyeur on Karolina’s life. The author does a great job at keeping it on simmer in terms of the reader not being sure what exactly is going to happen next. There is a feeling of tension, in a good way, in the writing.
The book is about art and life. But mostly I think it’s about examining how a 40’s career woman with no children fits in to society. Karolina struggles with this in the book. There are a lot of should have/would have thoughts rolling around in her head. Would she have been happier as a housewife and mother living in her childhood town? What is going to fulfill her in a relationship? I think these are answered (“answered”) in a realistic way. I won’t spoil it and tell you how.
The other thing that the author does well is captures the mundane-ness of every day life. Go to work. Come home. Make dinner. Sleep. Repeat. That for me is what helps make Karolina’s existential crisis more real.
I want to say that if you like psychological drama then you will like this, but that’s not quite the right description of this book. If you are looking for something that is well written, asks interesting and important questions, then this is your read. Also, as a bonus you get to learn a lot about Stockholm.
I gave it a 4/5 star rating on Goodreads.
Full disclosure: I received this eARC from NetGalley for a fair and honest review. (Thanks NetGalley!)