The year is 1847. Hjalmar Kjerulf’s dreams of becoming an artist are about to be broken. In a small, impoverished apartment in Bonn, he lies bedridden, dying of advanced tuberculosis. He is nursed by his brother, the composer Halfdan Kjerulf, and his friend, the painter Hans Gude. The three men are very close, but when Halfdan and Hans discover that they love the same woman, their friendship is put to the test.
The Letter from Betsy is the story of the decline of a well-to-do family, an artist’s efforts to attain self-realization, and a woman who inadvertently embitters a friendship and extinguishes a man’s dreams.
The novel is based on a true story.