A Modern Family
A family holiday creates unexpected drama when Liv, Ellen and Hakon’s elderly parents announce their decision to divorce. The Norwegian Anne Tyler makes her English debut in a beautiful, insightful and perceptive novel.
***Winner of the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize***
‘The most beautiful, elegant writing I’ve read in a long time. If you love Anne Tyler, you will ADORE this’ Joanna Cannon
‘A thoughtful and reflective novel about parents, siblings and the complex – and often challenging – ties that bind them’ Hannah Beckerman, Observer
‘I absolutely loved its quiet, insightful generosity’ Claire King
When Liv, Ellen and Hakon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.
Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.
A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…
‘The author has been dubbed the Norwegian Anne Tyler and for good reason. Three generations of a family head on a holiday to Italy to celebrate patriarch Sverre’s 70th birthday – but he and his wife have life-changing news to share. If you love books about dysfunctional families, you’ll love this’ Good Housekeeping
‘As they rebuild their childhood memories, it’s telling that their perceptions of themselves and their family relationships are so dramatically different. In quiet prose, Helga Flatland writes with elegance and subtle humour to produce a shrewd and insightful examination of the psychology of family and of loss’ Daily Express
‘I love the sophistication, directness and tenderness of this book’ Claire Dyer
‘So perceptive and clever’ Ronan Hession
‘This is a super exploration of families that I’d urge you to read for the subtle prose, with well defined characters and a strong storyline’ Sheila O’Reilly
‘It is the most satisfying book that I’ve read in a long time, and the most clear-eyed, honest, yet sympathetic examination of relationships that I have ever read. The subtlety with which she portrays the inconsistencies between how the characters see each other versus how they see themselves is masterful’ Sara Taylor
‘Reading Helga Flatland’s A Modern Family is like watching the sun rise on a cloudy horizon; light whispers and dances and breaks over the clouds. Layers of deliciously cumulative insight – a moving and exquisite read’ Shelan Rodger
‘A beautifully written novel, bittersweet, moving and poignant … a wise novel of great insight’ New Books Magazine
‘Flatland has the gift that I most often covert in the work of other writers: the ability to make everyday events compelling … an utterly compelling and satisfying read. It reminds us how full and rich life is, how the quietest existence can brim with urgency and drama’ Ann Morgan
‘A novel that prods and provokes … fascinating, incredibly profound, yet somehow tender, this really does encourage an exploration of a modern family’ LoveReading
"The most beautiful, elegant writing I've read in a long time. If you love Anne Tyler, you will ADORE this." --Joanna Cannon, author, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep "There is a hint of Ingmar Bergman in this portrayal of a completely normal family, it delves deep and wrenches your heart." --Adresseavisen
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