White Shadow

Roy Jacobsen, trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw. Biblioasis, $16.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-85705-812-6
Jacobsen’s vivid sequel to The Unseen (shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize) picks up nearly a decade later, in 1944, as the tiny island of Barrøy in Northern Norway is confronted by German occupation. Ingrid Barrøy, 35, born and raised on the remote island, lives there in solitude, as the rest of her family has dispersed across the country. After bodies begin to wash ashore from a prisoner transport ship, Ingrid discovers a lone Russian survivor, Alexander. As she nurses Alexander back to health, the two fall in love and she determines to help him escape Norway. But when Ingrid finally reports her discovery of the dead, as is compulsory, the Germans become suspicious. Soon, Ingrid awakens in a hospital, the victim of a brutal attack she can’t recall. Though readers will get the most of this by starting with the first book, which established a view of the cloistered Barrøy family, this stands alone by finding its drama from the intrusion of the external world onto the island. In terse but lyrical prose, Jacobsen unfolds Ingrid’s engaging and intimate story while evoking the devastating effects of WWII on refugees, citizens, and a stoic community of islanders. This series is one to invest in. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/28/2021
Genre: Fiction
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