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, who is in his nineties and still lives with his brother Anders on their rural Jutland farm-a place Jacob hasn't visited since the summer of 1978. Anton asks Jacob to answer the question that has haunted them both for decades: What happened to Ellen? To find out, Jacob must revisit 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 who came to stay with Anton and Anders, and the unsolved disappearance of Jacob's classmate's sister. In revisiting old friends and rivals, Jacob discovers that 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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