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Unquiet

A Novel
Narrated by: Isabel Keating
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)
Regular price: $29.95
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Publisher's Summary

Praised across Scandinavia as a "literary masterpiece", "spellbinding", and "magnificent", Unquiet reflects on six taped conversations the author had with her father at the very end of his life.   

He is a renowned Swedish filmmaker and has a plan for everything. She is his daughter, the youngest of nine children. Every summer, since she was a little girl, she visits him at his beloved stony house surrounded by woods, poppies, and the Baltic Sea. Now that she’s grown up and he’s in his late 80s, he envisions a book about old age. He worries that he’s losing his language, his memory, his mind. Growing old is hard work, he says. They will write it together. She will ask the questions. He will answer them.   

When she finally comes to the island, bringing her tape recorder with her, old age has caught up with him in ways neither could have foreseen.   

Unquiet follows the narrator as she unearths these taped conversations seven years later. Swept into memory, she reimagines the story of a father, a mother, and a girl - a child who can’t wait to grow up and parents who would rather be children.   

A heartbreaking and darkly funny depiction of the intricacies of family, Unquiet is an elegy of memory and loss, identity and art, growing up and growing old. Linn Ullmann nimbly blends memoir and fiction in her most inventive novel yet, weaving a luminous meditation on language, mourning, and the many narratives that make up a life.

©2015; 2019 Forlaget Oktober AS, Oslo; Linn Ullmann (translation) (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Marvelous

This amazing novel is about love, passion, creativity, old age, grief, and art. It is guileless on the surface and so deep beneath. I was spun along and whirled down. I’m sure others will share biographical details in their reviews, so I’ll just share the literary experience, which is multi layered – with this material being obviously autobiographical but translated into fiction, much as the father transmuted his own life and passions into film, theater, and books.

There’s one passage toward the end where the father, unable to actually make a trip to his mother’s house, speaks the journey, fully believing that it is happening, and his narration of it reads as film script — autobiography made into fiction with the cinema being that of imagination. Enjoy this beautiful novel and its excellent audio performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful