Orenda (1 Sept. 2016)
The blurb . . .
TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough.
Haunting, consuming and powerful, The Bird Tribunal is a taut, exquisitely written psychological thriller that builds to a shocking, dramatic crescendo that will leave you breathless.
My thoughts . . .
What a bloody book!
I’ve never read anything like it and I’m not sure I will again.
In The Bird Tribunal we meet Aliss, who, for reasons as yet unknown, has taken herself off into exhile. Aliss takes the job of a housekeeper for Sigurd Bagge, who she assumes is an elderly man in need of looking after.
But all is not as it seems. Sigurd is a fully functioning man in his prime. Gorgeous. Mysterious.
Aliss isn’t sure why she’s been hired but she’s not really bothered as she wants the escape.
As they settle into a strange existence together, the sense of foreboding intensifies. And with only these two adding to the dialogue, it is really powerful. It’s quite a slow building book, but is only 200 pages long so you don’t feel that. But when the ‘action’ starts, boy does it start!
There are no speech marks in this book. None. And I loved that! It didn’t register with me immediately but it certainly didn’t bother me. For me it added to the intensity and the feel of the book.
I loved Aliss, although at times I wanted to scream at her for being so meek, I understood her. I could feel her pain and admired that she was trying to find herself after her personal issues.
The Bird Tribunal is an unexpected masterpiece. It is exquisite. It is beautiful. It is a true psychological thriller. It is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Thank you so much Karen at Orenda Books for my copy, I will treasure it forever!
You can get your copy here and I suggest you do it now!
About the author . . .
Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is an author and columnist. She made her literary debut 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 sjoldisiplin), 2014. In these works Ravatn shows her unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility. Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), 2013, is a strange and captivating story about shame, guilt and atonement. Ravatn received The cultural radio P2’s listener’s prize for this novel, a popular and important prize in Norway, in addition to The Youth’s Critic’s Prize. The Bird Tribunal was also made into a successful play, which premièred in Oslo in 2015.