It’s a picture of Mum,” you said from the back seat. “Where’s Mum?” I replied from the front seat. You took a long time to formulate your answer, whether because your speech was in the process of disintegrating, or because you were searching for a poetic line. “On the car’s ear.”
Tale of Terrible Times is a powerful story about what it means to be the parents of a disabled child. And about the fight to allow the child to be who he is, and to get the support that he and his family need. The book follows the mother and son, and the rest of the family, day by day from the last Monday in November until the third Thurday in May. This is a story about the fine line between accepting and giving up. This is a moving story about love that hits like a fist. Daniel loses his speech and changes personality. For his mother, Olaug, it is the start of a battle, first to understand what is happening to the boy, and then to help him get the care and resources he needs. The family suddenly find themselves in a lifechanging, challenging situation. There is a long and painful process shared in this novel written with deep human insight and love in the year Daniel turns 10 years old.
This book is a brilliant love story and absolutely the best novel I’ve read about autism.
Once again, Olaug Nilssen has shown herself to be one of Norway’s sharpest literary voices. It is impossible to put Talk of Terrible Times aside unmoved.
The novel is like a shriek: raw, painful and strong. It is the sound of a woman in battle, a woman who has already battled for a long time and not given up.
…shocking, important literature.
Heart-openingly beautiful and endlessly painful on being the parent of a child that is different.
"Talk of Terrible Times" is a story both raw and nuanced, full of fighting spirit and grief; a story about love that demands everything one has to give.