Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Eventide - Therese Bohman

Summary: An astute novel following the life of an art professor at Stockholm University as she navigates the academic world, with its undercurrents of sexuality, competition, deceit, and fear

In her forties and childless, Karolina Andersson feels adrift living alone after the breakup of a long relationship. She finds fulfillment in her work, and when she starts advising a new postgraduate student, she is struck by his confidence. He claims to have discovered new materials from a female artist working around the turn of the century that would change the historiography of Swedish visual arts. Karolina soon finds herself embroiled in a game with unexpected complexities, both emotional and professional.

Eventide is a perceptive novel of ideas about love, art, and solitude in our time, and the distorted standards to which women are held in their relationships and their careers. (Summary and pic from

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: This is the kind of book that I think is really captured well by the description. Of course the book has many complexities going on, but the actual feeling of the book--the kind of understated sleekness of it feels very Scandinavian. Let me explain.

The story is one that I don’t think is unusual or shocking, but what the book does do well is really let you inside of the main character’s head. In fact, I felt like I had basically lived a slice of her life with her. This didn’t feel intrusive or uncomfortable, just intimate. Because of this intimacy it made it difficult to view her as others might, and also made her an unreliable narrator. As you can tell from the book summary, she doesn’t think she’s that awesome, and this really colors a lot of what she thinks and what she does. Because the character is an academic, the author has made her inner dialogue and thoughts very complex, and this clouds what the reader is able to see on the outside. It’s quite beautifully done, actually, and although I wouldn’t necessarily say I liked Karolina, I did feel like I understood her as the author wanted me to.

This story has subtle politics that are very timely, but aren’t addressed in a heavy-handed way. Women in the workforce, and especially in the academic world, are facing equality issues that seem to be reverberating across all of the world, and this book does address it, but more in a manner of living it through Karolina’s eyes than an actual discussion.

The story itself is one that matters but doesn’t, really, although I very much enjoyed the resolution of it. I obviously don’t want to give anything way here, but the story serves as a microcosm of Karolina’s life and career as a whole. Bohman is a very competent author who addresses the story and social issues with subtlety and finesse. This is a very quiet book and is a very beautiful reflection of the main character’s life and the issues it wants to address.

My Rating: 3 Stars

For the sensitive reader: This book has language and some sexual situations, although I would say it’s all on the tame side for an adult fiction novel.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails