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Booker International Longlist 2023 – Is Mother Dead

Is Mother Dead

Book 7 – Is Mother Dead by Vigdis Hjorth Translated by Charlotte Barslund

Reviewed by Tracy

Synopsis from Booker Prize website: ‘To mother is to murder, or close enough,’ thinks Johanna, as she looks at the spelling of the two words in Norwegian.

Recently widowed, Johanna is back in Oslo after a long absence to prepare for a retrospective of her art. The subject of her work is motherhood and some of her more controversial paintings have brought about a dramatic rift between parent and child.

This new proximity, after decades of acrimonious absence, set both women on edge. Before too long, Johanna finds her mother stalking her thoughts, and herself stalking her mother’s house.

Tracy’sThoughts: Crazy Stalker Woman, anyone?

I really thought I was going to throw my iPad across the room at several points in this book. The main character seemed completely unhinged, her mother and sister were unreasonable- I mean, come on, just talk to her, tell her to f**k off, and send her on her merry way, already.

But of all the books on the list, this one actually had the most satisfying (re: complete) ending, the best character development, plot development, and I actually ended up really liking it.

I’m so glad I didn’t throw my iPad across the room.

Writing quality: 4.5/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Character development: 4/4
Plot development: 4/4
Overall enjoyment: 2/2
Total: 19/20

Have you read this one? Let us know what you thought.
Is Mother Dead 19
Standing Heavy 18
Still Born 17.25
Ninth Building 16
Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv 16
Whale 15.5
Boulder 13.5

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