Norwegian writer Øyehaug narrates a story of parallel universes: Twenty years after a mother and daughter were separated by an alternate universe that opened up, neither has conscious recollection of the other yet both sense something is missing as they go about their lives.
... heartfelt and heartbreaking ... Dickson, who translated Øyehaug's two prior English-language books, repeatedly evokes these 'infinite universes' in luxuriant sentences that often spill across entire pages. And she beautifully conveys the soft emotions characteristic of Øyehaug's writing through evocative phrases ... It is a complex web of ideas ... Øyehaug's utterly unique novel will sit with you long after you finish playing your part.
... pleasurably unexpected descriptions and touches of humor ... She makes herself very visible to the reader through steady reminders of artifice. In a chapter she titles 'The Digression,' the narrator announces that the previous chapter has reminded her of the BICEP2, a telescope mounted on the South Pole: 'It strikes us as unfair that physicists are able to build a telescope like that and install it on earth, with its listening ear turned to space, but language theorists can’t do the same.' If readers do not already see themselves in that 'us,' these characters may exhaust rather than convert them. But for the rest of us, the novel is an ingenious pocket universe where time moves not just forward or even backward but in sideways leaps. Questions about the nature of reality are made poignant by the characters asking them: women struggling to understand who they are in the shadow of losses they can sense but not remember.
... an elegant translation by Kari Dickson ... Øyehaug is splendidly clever, perhaps too clever for some. But she’s also thoughtful, using her elaborately conceived, interconnected narrative spirals to ask questions about the relevance and importance of stories, and about connections between the literarily lived life and the literally lived life. Simultaneously, she inquires about and, in spite of everything, enacts the divine power of language to create.