Before You SleepBook - 1999
Spanning three generations in the life of a Norwegian family, Before You Sleep sparkles with wisdom, acuity, and style and carries with it the excitement of a genuine literary discovery. As the novel moves from present-day Oslo to 1930's Brooklyn, Ullmann tells her story through the voices of the eccentric and formidable women of the Blom family whose passions and prejudices have formed an intricate web that bonds grandmother to mother, and mother to child.Hailed by European critics as "a real masterpiece," and "playful and melancholy, entertaining and disquieting," Before You Sleep unflinchingly explores the emotional terrain of marriage and motherhood, which Karin, the novel's young, complicated narrator, characterizes as "an endless stream of broken promises." Karin's wry, witty, and candid perspective suffuses the novel and it is she who introduces us to the others: her sister Julie, a wife and mother nearly destroyed by her husband's infidelity; their mother Anni, the irresistible seductress, and Aunt Selma, who drinks to stay mean and who fries girls' ears for breakfast.Linn Ullmann's marvelously accomplished and assured debut, already an international sensation, unfolds with the sweep and color of a symphony and heralds the arrival of a mature and gifted literary talent.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 1999.
Characteristics: 291 p. ;,22 cm.