Penguin Pr. May 2018. 192p. tr. from Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey. ISBN 9780399563362. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399563379. F
In this third book in an autobiographical series (though this one is billed as a novel), Norwegian author Knausgaard continues the narrative started in the previous volumes, Autumn and Winter. On the surface, it is a paean to the ongoing development, since conception, of the author's now three-month-old daughter. On a deeper level, it represents a kind of exegesis of the author's life with his wife and four children as he struggles with being the sole caregiver for his children. His wife, one learns, is currently incapacitated by mental illness. As he contemplates day-to-day challenges, the author's introspections, seemingly banal, take on a greater significance. This is revealed as he muses on the dark events of the previous summer when his wife was pregnant with their fourth child and sought to end her own life. Through the meticulous reappraisal of these events, the work accomplishes a transformation from a mere mundane description of tragedy to a complex contemplation of self and relationships.
VERDICT This severe and direct analysis of domestic life creates a compelling tension between recovery from traumatic events and a resigned acceptance of present truths; recommended for fans of domestic drama and fine writing. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/17.]

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