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ISBN: 9780099502579
Just before Christmas on a farm in Northern Norway, 80-year-old Anna Neshov, matriarch of a troubled family, is taken gravely ill. Her three sons have been quietly immersed in their work: one an undertaker, one a window-dresser, and the eldest running the family farm, but now they are forced to reunite for the first time in many years. Their personalities are as disparate as their careers, and tensions mount from the second they meet, climaxing over Christmas dinner when the matter of inheritance prompts the revelation of disturbing family secrets. Anne B. Ragde has created an engrossing dark comedy brought vividly to life through extraordinary characters. While perfectly in tune with their professions the Neshov sons as a family are little short of dysfunctional; nevertheless, the real theme of the novel is a sense of belonging. The farm itself defines this, with its power to draw people back to their roots, whether they like it or not.