Historical fiction

Echoes of the City (Byens Spor #1) by Lars Saabye Christensen

Don Bartlett (Translator)


As I sift through my backlog, I am beginning to realise what picking up lighter books mean. There are these unique copies buried in the list, and I am unearthing them one at a time. This year my read translated works have exploded, and I have so many different languages on my list!
Reading a translated work is a two-fold experience. One is the narrative style and how the translation works, the second being the feel of experience a whole new culture. With the new normal shifting under our feet in these uncertain times, it is always good to escape to another country and time (even if that time may have been precarious in a whole other way).
In this case, we have post-war Norway and how their lives are shaping. The first chapter did not make much sense to me until I looked up the book on Goodreads to figure out that it is the first in a series. Put in that context, it made sense to begin where it did. If like me, you are reading just the first, it won’t matter if it doesn’t seem clear.
It is a well-written story about the intricacies of a society. We have ordinary citizens, each with their own hopes and dreams. They have their own ways of expressing themselves, which makes the writing rich and colourful. There is so much extra in the ordinary that it was a highly entertaining read. I do not want to talk of the individual characters because they are outlined and coloured in slowly and therefore should be first encountered in the book itself. I recommend it to anyone who likes reading about the supposedly mundane day-to-day lives of ordinary people.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley, the review is entirely based on my own reading experience of this book.

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