Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn.
One of Norway’s most distinguished voices, Agnes Ravatn’s first
novel to be published in the UK was The Bird Tribunal. It won an
English PEN Translation Award, was shortlisted for the Dublin
Literary Award and the Petrona Award, and was adapted for a
BBC Book at Bedtime. She returns now with a dark, powerful and
deeply disturbing psychological thriller about family, secrets and
University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems
increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own,
things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it
disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and
Ingeborg pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it
seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her
and her family.
I first discovered Agnes Ravatn and Rosie Hedger is 2016 when I read The Bird Tribunal. I was mesmerised by the brilliant writing, storytelling and the exquisite translation. This is truly a dream team, an author and translator who fit together so perfectly that what is produced is, dare I say, literary gold. I adored The Bird Tribunal, so after a four year wait I was, to say the least, very excited to get myself a copy of The Seven Doors.
Again Agnes has created a sublime mix of beautiful writing, tension and storytelling. Nordic Noir has taken a hold of me and Agnes is, in my opinion, one of the best authors I have come across. That is high praise indeed as I have read some absolutely cracking authors in this genre. I absolutely love her writing style. The sentence structure, captured so beautifully in Rosie’s translation, is suggestive in itself and creates this wonderful, dark atmosphere that hooks you in and keeps you there, deep within the story. Even the absence of speech marks gives a strange and powerful feel to the novel, adding something that takes the whole experience to another level. It works brilliantly.
The Seven Doors is just as unique as The Bird Tribunal was, and is very much in Agnes’ style and yet very different. It carried me away, the tension palpable and once again I have been blown away by this wonderful author/translator team.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. It’s been an absolute thrill reading The Seven Doors.
About the author
Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility.
Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award, shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.