As a young woman, Åsta Petersen-Cooper left Norway with a desire to put her former life behind her. She brimmed with dreams of an international lifestyle of language, literature and fascinating conversations, and of a happiness in which she could both love and be loved. She’s now 73, living in Warsaw, and in a faltering marriage with a British diplomat. She suffers a stroke which seriously impairs her ability to speak. All she’s left with is the Norwegian of her childhood, which no one around her understands, and far too much time to wonder why life never turned out the way it was meant to.
A Minute’s Silence is a novel about recognition and identity, about which memories live within us and which ones disappear, and about wanting to escape from your own background – and perhaps also from yourself.