Agnete Friis’s lyrical, evocative work of psychological suspense weaves together two periods in one man’s life to explore obsession, toxic masculinity, and the tricks we play on our own memory. Jacob, a middle-aged architect living in Copenhagen, is in the alcohol-soaked throes of a bitter divorce when he receives an unexpected call from his great-uncle Anton. In his nineties and still living with his brother on their rural Jutland farm—a place Jacob hasn’t visited since the summer of 1978—Anton remains haunted by a single question: What happened to Ellen? To find out, Jacob must return to the farm and confront what took place that summer—one defined by his teenage obsession with Ellen, a beautiful young hippie from the local commune, and the unsolved disappearance of a local girl. In revisiting old friends and rivals, Jacob discovers the tragedies that have haunted him for over forty years were not what they seemed.
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by Agnete Friis
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"Unless you're a Danish speaker, you will appreciate this powerful novel more if you listen to the audiobook. Narrator Victor Bevine offers an atmospheric mystery while displaying an impressive facility with Danish place and character names. Jacob, wallowing in self-pity and alcohol after his divorce, is called by his 90-year-old great-uncles to come to their rural farm. When he returns after many years away, Jacob's memories evoke a time when he was a 15-year-old passionately, erotically obsessed with Ellen. After seeing something intolerable at the uncles' farm, Ellen disappeared. Bevine offers clear transitions from the present day to memory, making Jacob's coming-of-age and midlife crisis credible. Elegant writing combined with a strong narration makes this classic whodunit an audiobook to savor. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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