A mother drives across the country, over the fells from east to west, with her daughter strapped into the child seat in the back. To the daughter the trip is a passage through endless hours and landscapes, to the mother it becomes a journey in and out of contrasting times, to what used to be a home.
Starweed is a novel about being four years old, about wishing you had a pet, about discovering the world on your own – and about a mother’s joys and sorrows at seeing her child grow up. It’s a novel too about transitions in life, about the fractures we suffer in detaching away into lives of our own, in daughterhood and motherhood.
Bråtveit’s story shifts subtly and powerfully between the everyday and the sublime, with keen and unfailing awareness of the brutal procession of our lives.
- The gravity of Inger Bråtveit’s novel sets it apart as one of the author’s best novels … Inger Bråtveit does not shy away from fundamental existential perspectives and questions in her writing. In this sense, she assumes her rightful place beside authors like Jon Fosse and Jan Roar Leikvoll …
... what excites me again and again is precisely the unique and fearless way her writing gives rise to richly figurative literature, and how her wide-reaching awareness of tradition evokes a sprawling expression of something classical in the midst of Norwegian contemporary literature.
Gorgeous and subdued descriptions imbue the novel with atmosphere. The author paints a landscape many readers will recognise … above all, Bråtveit illustrates with unerring precision that where you come from and where you grow up defines you far into adulthood.
This is poetic prose at its most beautiful, simply a gorgeous novel!
I don’t believe I have read a book that simultaneously succeeds in touching upon some of the most inflammatory political themes of recent years, and seems not especially political. Because it is just a story about people and nature, about the mainstream and the periphery, about life and death.