Hanne is tired of seeing all her successful friends from college move into beautiful villas with perfect gardens while she is stuck in the same old, tiny apartment with her partner and two kids. But now, finally, their dream house has been put on the market. It is the solution to everything: a new house with new rooms and new possibilities – even a new opportunity to rekindle her relationship.
We follow Hanne and Andreas, a middle-class couple in their forties with two kids, in the days before the bidding war begins as they assess the prospect of the house, room by room. But through these talks of practical solutions and economic obstacles, they end up assessing not only the house, but their relationship itself.
Inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and today’s housing market, A Free and Nonbinding Valuation is an entertaining and surprising drama about the dream of a perfect life. Eikemo digs down into the fundament of our values and romantic relationships: Are you still the same person your partner fell in love with? Or have you changed – to suit them or maybe to make things easier? And are relationships built to last? Or would they all crumble under such intense scrutiny?
A literary achievement… Marit Eikemo is a master observer of how we live today. She brings together characteristics and observations in comically-absurd images with a precision the reader can rejoice over… [This] emphasizes Marit Eikemo’s position as a central observer of our times.
Worthy of a play. What is really hidden behind the housing dream, I’d never manage to accurately guess. The ending leaves a question of Ibsenian proportions: How disillusioned are we actually willing to live?”
She’s done it again! Marit Eikemo has written a cracking good page-turner about the everyday life of the Norwegian middle-class, broken dreams and the pursuit of the perfect life...significant linguistic force and energy... [Eikemo] has emerged as a contemporary storyteller of rank.
With A Free and Nonbinding Valuation, Eikemo has written herself into the top tier of Norwegian contemporary writers.
A particularly good novel about choices, what determines them, and the price of closing. Marit Eikemo asks questions, stages dilemmas, without drawing conclusions.