Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the one that was not

Seven years ago MaryMarie's husband was pushed out of a window in an eastern European town after visiting a prostitute. No one knows what really happened, but her husband ends up paralysed from the neck down. After long nights beside her husband's hospital bed the reality shifts and turn into parallel lives, one that is Mary's and one that is Marie's.

Is she Mary, the dutiful wife that stays with her husband, the successful journalist that moves on becoming the Minister for Development Assistance, making the fight against trafficking and prostitution her main political issue.

Or is she Marie, the successful journalist who can't stand what her husband has done, who unplugs his respirator and ends up in jail for six long years.

'Den jag aldrig var' (which literary translates"The one I never was") by Majgull Axelsson is a book that shifts from one possible life to another, it's a thought provoking piece, well-written, all absorbing from the first page - and when you don't read it you still think it.

The novel asks important and interesting questions about life choices, about the life we chose to live or perhaps the life we let others chose for us. Needless to say, there are more than a few aha-moments in the book.

Axelsson's writing reminds me of Maria Ernestam, well thought through yet seemingly effortless, unpretentious and intelligent, carnal and elegant at the same time.

"The one that was not" is one of four books by Majgull Axelsson that's translated into English. Not as stunning as the amazing "Aprilhäxan" / "April witch" - and I really did not like the ending, which I found to be rather a botchery easy way out solution to such an intriguing story - but still a book more than well worth reading.


P.K said...

The book sounds interesting, I will try to find a copy, thanks for the infomation.

Forever Feline said...

This sounds fascinating!

Pia K said...

you should definitely try and find a copy, p.k! and hopefully there won't be a lot lost in translation.

yes, it really is, forever feline, thoughprovoking!

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