In Light Summer Nights By John Burnside Review

Liv, the narrator, has finally found at the end of the novel to himself. She now knows where she belongs, “what will they do with their lives.” Ten years ago, when she had just finished high school, she experienced something that summer of light nights, which describes itself as a “privilege” that is something to see what might have never happened.

the famous painter Angelika Ross Dahl decides to leave Oslo forever and move to Kvaløya, a Norwegian island near the Arctic circle.

Here never the sun rises in the winter; in summer, however, the day has no end, and people see the ongoing brightness no sleep. In this inhospitable world the little Liv grew up in a detached, cold, loveless atmosphere. She can remember neither Oslo nor a father. Soon she learns that for mother only painting one. For days she works in her studio, her sanctuary, which no one is allowed to enter, even Liv not. The two live a life of freedom and mutual acceptance; neither opened the other their feelings, desires or fears.

Only neighboring Kyrre occasionally in this isolated community aware of past to make to repair.

On Sunday invites mother a few men to a tea party. You remember Liv to the “free” from the Greek myth of Penelope. Unapproachable, untouchable, a goddess same mother sitting in the trust round of her worshipers. Liv avoid this back conversations, slips away like looking society Kyrres. Over the years he has become her confidant, a father substitute.

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When she was a child, mother had read to her the old Norwegian sagas, legends and myths, and she believes what Kyrre it now says: “Have you heard?” Two classmates have drowned in the fjord, probably attracted by the Huldra, a fairy, Men beguiling beauty of the Norse myths. This is the beginning of a creepy summer with the light nights that make everyone crazy. A summer visitor with easy pedophile inclination disappears later Kyrre.

All the time is Liv with camera and telescope move. She considers herself a “spy of God”, a “witness”, the day and night keeping watch must, in an “attention that no purpose knows”. But not only interpretations, fantasies of a lonely, neglected their observations, actually traumatized young girl? Although she is aware that there is no Huldra, they followed with progressive action of fear, panics, is obsessed with the idea of ​​everything her classmate Maia was to blame.

Maia, daughter of an alcoholic, is a secretive child without a home. She roams around everywhere, gets approached men who suddenly appears in Liv’s life, disappears just as quickly from the scene, spooks same. Liv is the perilous Huldra.

Liv’s madness is fueled by deep jealousy. At one time mother had tried on a portrait of Liv, there was but unfinished on. Now she invites Maia to meetings to the studio, is trapped by it, wants the look that is still unknown “Something” out in it. Liv noticed throughout the house unpleasant smell when Maia, the preferred intruder is there.

John Burnside’s empathetic “In light summer nights” by Bernhard Robben translated from English ( “A summer of drowning”) in every respect, is a fascinating novel. Unsurpassed are Burnside sophisticated, finely engraved and well-chosen descriptions of the Arctic Circle landscape with its light, the loneliness, the stationary time, the endless emptiness. It is wrong to think you would find a “tonic for the soul” in the oppressive silence here: background noise, random changes in the atmosphere may scare. Burnside’s sentences are often long and winding yet light.

Carefully builds Burnside the psychological profile of Liv on. She’s a schizophrenic character with second sight. Living with her mother, she has become a relationship incompetent woman. She has “no career, no husband, no friends …”. Although rather repelled and unnoticed by the cold mother, lonely Liv still revered the brilliant, accomplished artist. Are they enter the dark myths and ghost stories that Liv’s empty in life and into which they increases until one does in her own the features of a Huldra might suspect? “I only causing things to happen,” she says.

Located in the mystical world of natural beauty of the Far North, tears us this disturbing novel between reality and unreality back and forth without ever slabs near to get mystery Kokolores; Liv’s world is interwoven with the character traits of a just her accessible, otherworldly world of ghosts and haunting – a fascinating structure in which many forever a mystery must remain. John Burnside’s novel is the best piece of literature. I’ve read in some time -. with a poetic language as a light-footed dance, in which one is drawn and would turn in which one higher spheres on and on to infinity.


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In Light Summer Nights By John Burnside Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

In Light Summer Nights By John Burnside Review
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