Ragde, Anne B.: Family Neshov

The story about the Neshov family consists of three books. The first one “Berlin Poplars” (Berlinerpoplene) is found in English. The link is to Amazon UK. I haven’t been able to find book no. 2 “Eremittkrepsene” (Hermit Crabs) in English, so that review will be in Norwegian (see below). I haven’t read book no. 3, so nothing on that. The closest thing to a website on Ragde was her publisher’s. I’ve discovered that not all authors find it necessary to have a website or blog (annoying).

GODT SETT: «Berlinerpoplene» ble sett av over 800 000 i går.

The characters from the television series – Berlin Poplars (Berlinerpoplene) – NRK.no

These books are the Neshov family’s history. While there are humorous parties, happiness is not the larger part of the books. For the main part the story is about the present, but we get a look at some of the history of the family as well. In “Poplars” the main characters are Tor Neshov, owner of family farm; Margido Neshov, undertaker; and the youngest brother Erlend, decorator. In addition we get to meet Tor’s daughter, Torunn, in part 2.

In part one of the book, we meet all three brothers. We see their lives and loves and worries. Tor is the oldest son. He lives on the farm with his parents, Anna and his father. They struggle to keep the farm going, not to mention keep their relationship sane. Margido is beginning to find his career as an undertaker a challenge. Some of the situations that he is thrown into are sad beyond words. While he is financially fairly well off, his emotional life has taken a beating. The youngest brother, Erlend, lives in Copehagen with his partner Krumme. Erlend decorates shopping windows and is passionate about crystal. The brothers have not met each other in years. Toward the end of part one their mother, Anna, becomes ill and all three sons are asked to come home. In part two Turid appears. She is the daughter of Tor but has only had sporadic contact with him. Her appearance in the lives of the brothers and their mother opens history to the reader and we get to see how the death of a mother can tear people apart. Secrets are told and not all of them are pleasant.

The ending is sudden, but appropriate. I really liked the Norwegian version. If the English one is as good, the reader can expect a moving story about a dysfunctional family.

“Eremittkrepsene” fortsetter der “Berlinerpoplene” slapp. Livene til brødrene og Torunn belyses enda en gang. Da farmoren dør, har plutselig Torunn blitt odelsjente og en del av boken handler om hvordan hun og Tor takler dette. Økonomien er heller laber og da Torunn kommer opp, er det virkelig behov for henne. Margido slites mellom kjærligheten og troen, men oppi det hele forsøker han å hjelpe storebroren. Erlend strever med selvbildet og troen på Krummes kjærlighet. Boka var knallgod og mørk. Det er lyse øyeblikk, men hele tiden drives leseren mot stupet man aner i det fjerne.

Jeg har ikke lest bok nr. 3. Etter å ha gjort ferdig toern følte jeg at jeg var ferdig med familien Neshov.

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