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By Linn Ullmann

One of the New York occasions publication Review's 100 remarkable Books of 2014!

Ullmann’s characters are complicated and paradoxical: neither totally to blame nor totally innocent
 
Siri Brodal, a chef and eating place proprietor, is married to Jon Dreyer, a well-known novelist laid low with writer’s block. Siri and Jon have daughters, and jointly they spend their summers at the coast of Norway, in a mansion belonging to Jenny Brodal, Siri’s trendy and unforgiving mother.
 
Siri and Jon’s marriage is loving yet tough, and by way of painful secrets and techniques. they've got a strained dating with their elder daughter, Alma, who struggles to discover her position within the kinfolk constellation. whilst Milla is employed as a nanny to permit Siri to paintings her lengthy hours on the eating place and Jon to supposedly meet the closing date on his ebook, lifestyles within the idyllic summer season neighborhood takes a dire flip. One wet July evening, Milla disappears with out a hint. After her continues to be are came upon and a suspect is pointed out, every person who had any reference to her feels implicated in her tragedy and haunted by way of what they can have performed to avoid it.
 
The chilly Song is a narrative approximately telling tales and approximately how existence is consistently invented and reinvented.

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Who're we this day? What can we do at the present time? What will we say this day? on a daily basis was once various, so Siri wanted this time after she got here domestic from institution. To flop and prepared herself. To dissolve and re-form. To lie or take a seat or stand completely nonetheless and hear. turn into one massive ear. have been these crying sounds she heard from Jenny’s bed room? making a song? noisily snoring? indignant mutterings? “Siri? Is that you just? ” and also you needed to be in a position to interpret the tone of voice. “I love you greater than something in all of the international, Siri,” her mom may possibly say after which burst into tears. “I don’t blame you, i actually don’t, I simply leave out him lots. ” Her consuming escalated because the years after Syver’s loss of life wore on, yet then, whilst Siri used to be seventeen, Jenny stopped ingesting really decisively and hadn’t touched a drop until eventually this day, her seventy-fifth birthday, the day of the celebration, her fete. Siri listened to the noises from the backyard. The voices, the tune, the clinking glasses, the plates, the cutlery, the fluttering white tablecloths (she had positioned them at the tables, then taken them in, then placed them at the tables again), snatches of dialog, Have any of you visible something of the birthday woman, No, neither have I, the entire other ways during which humans snigger after they are collected at a celebration, low and high, the entire sounds that the site visitors don’t even listen: the wind, the sighing within the treetops, the 1st drops of rain, I don’t imagine it’s going to rain. The forecast stated rain, yet you can’t belief the forecast. Her plan was once to run up the steps and knock, no, bang on Jenny’s door, and say that now she quite did need to come downstairs, now it was once time to honor her site visitors together with her presence. Her plan used to be to take issues in hand. yet Siri used to be nonetheless sitting at the flooring, eyes fastened at the stairway. She stated: wake up and visit her. not anything. after which she acknowledged: I’ll take a seat right here awhile longer. Siri gazed up on the stairway. It coiled its means during the condominium like a rattlesnake. And jointly they'd counted the steps in among kisses. She may possibly pay attention Jenny relocating approximately in her room. Siri stood up and stretched till the kink in her waist was once slightly seen lower than her lengthy, faded blue silk gown. Then she shouted on the most sensible of her voice wincing at its shrillness: “Jenny Brodal! Mama! ” She walked to the foot of the steps. “Listen to me now, you’ve received to come back down! The party’s begun and your visitors are all looking ahead to you! ” THE RAIN FILTERED down, skinny and grey, and the wind picked up and pulled and tugged at Milla’s crimson umbrella. nobody might say precisely while she had left the get together and long past all the way down to the jetties. probably there have been different events that night. The quayside used to be shrouded in mist. Milla received a scorching puppy on the kiosk, she spilled ketchup on her crimson costume and gasped softly. a tender guy with reasonable hair grew to become, checked out Milla, and smiled. “Love the crimson umbrella. ” Milla smiled again. “Thanks. yet I’ve stained my costume. glance. ” The boy, recognized to his buddies as okay. B. , shrugged and unfold his hands. “Some summer season night, this, huh? ” “It was once my birthday a number of weeks back,” Milla acknowledged, considering that he used to be handsome, and that she should still say anything.

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