I do not know what I was expecting when I picked this up, but I definitely was not right. I do not check up on the blurb before the actual reading once I have added a book to my TBR. This helps keep the experience novel.
It took me a chapter or two to figure out the context of what was happening. The deeper we venture into the book, the author reveals information more openly, and the character’s past becomes more evident than with just the hints in the first few chapters. These are a collection of musings, one-sided conversations and the innermost speculation of a man in grief. He continues to work as a diplomat orchestrating talks between warring parties while marvelling at the futility and the charade of it all. There are some places at the beginning that my mind wandered, but later on, I had to know what the actual facts were and read faster. The man in our story is neither a good one nor a bad one by his own admission; he just is. There is a lot to unpack in the revelations that he provides. Especially when he contemplates what other people are thinking.
I almost gave up in the beginning, thinking it wasn’t a book for me, but towards the end, I started to feel with Edvard and his sorrow. From start to finish, the entire book is only 200 pages, but it is a heavy volume where sometimes the slimmest of chapters can draw you out and start a discussion. Human and society’s foibles are discussed at length here in a sort of futile exercise where no one can really do anything. It is not a very action-oriented book, and if a man directing his talks to someone who isn’t there does not sound appealing, I do not recommend trying it. If someone is on the lookout for something different, a little darker and realistic, I would recommend giving this a shot.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.