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Publisher's Summary

Sonja's over 40, and she's trying to move in the right direction. She's learning to drive. She's joined a meditation group. And she's attempting to reconnect with her sister.

But Sonja would rather eat cake than meditate. Her driving instructor won't let her change gear. And her sister won't return her calls.

Sonja's mind keeps wandering back to the dramatic landscapes of her childhood - the singing whooper swans, the endless sky, and getting lost barefoot in the rye fields - but how can she return to place that she no longer recognises? And how can she escape the alienating streets of Copenhagen?

Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is a poignant, sharp-witted tale of one woman's journey in search of herself when there's no one to ask for directions.

Cover image credit: (c) Aaron Munday (12 Orchards)

©2017 Dorthe Nors (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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  • Rochelle
  • 01-30-18

Subtle, Delightful, Utterly Engaging Story

This is not a plot centred novel. If you like books where things happen, this might not be for you. There's very little action, and what there is, is of a fairly quiet sort and the most important action happens inside Sonja's head. But if you appreciate finespun character development you'll find this book an absolute treat. It is a very subtle, character based story.

Sonja has fond memories of her rural childhood but no vision of her future. And as a 40 year old, single woman she's has no sense of where she is going.

She is the first in her family to have gone to university. She moved from her small rural hometown to the bustle of Copenhagen where she translates popular Swedish crime novels for a living.

But things aren’t right. Sonja has a serious case of imposter syndrome. She’s getting driving lessons but worries she’ll never learn to drive. Her instructor won’t let her change gears - she cannot “shift” for herself. She can reverse (look back) just fine but she can't move forward.

Sonja also has a hereditary condition, a type of postural vertigo. When her head gets into a particular position, she loses her balance & the world spins around her.

I loved this book. I think the feelings experienced by Sonja in the novel would be familiar to a lot of people. Adulthood can feel very hard and lonely at times. It's also a little personal for me as I also had trouble learning to drive & can relate to Sonja's experiences behind the wheel.

Kate Rawson's rendering was well matched to Hoekstra's translation. Her performance is nicely paced, clear & her character performances are perfect. It was on my radar having been shortlisted for the Man Booker International. I love what Nors has been able to achieve by containing so much within this story. Beautiful.