***Winner of the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize***
‘The most beautiful, elegant writing I’ve read in a long time. If you love Anne Tyler, you will ADORE this’ Joanna Cannon
‘A thoughtful and reflective novel about parents, siblings and the complex – and often challenging – ties that bind them’ Hannah Beckerman, Observer
‘I absolutely loved its quiet, insightful generosity’ Claire King
When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.
Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.
A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change...
‘The author has been dubbed the Norwegian Anne Tyler and for good reason. Three generations of a family head on a holiday to Italy to celebrate patriarch Sverre’s 70th birthday – but he and his wife have life-changing news to share. If you love books about dysfunctional families, you’ll love this’ Good Housekeeping
‘As they rebuild their childhood memories, it’s telling that their perceptions of themselves and their family relationships are so dramatically different. In quiet prose, Helga Flatland writes with elegance and subtle humour to produce a shrewd and insightful examination of the psychology of family and of loss’ Daily Express
‘I love the sophistication, directness and tenderness of this book’ Claire Dyer
‘So perceptive and clever’ Rónán Hession
‘This is a super exploration of families that I’d urge you to read for the subtle prose, with well defined characters and a strong storyline’ Sheila O’Reilly
‘It is the most satisfying book that I’ve read in a long time, and the most clear-eyed, honest, yet sympathetic examination of relationships that I have ever read. The subtlety with which she portrays the inconsistencies between how the characters see each other versus how they see themselves is masterful’ Sara Taylor
‘Reading Helga Flatland’s A Modern Family is like watching the sun rise on a cloudy horizon; light whispers and dances and breaks over the clouds. Layers of deliciously cumulative insight – a moving and exquisite read’ Shelan Rodger
‘A beautifully written novel, bittersweet, moving and poignant ... a wise novel of great insight’ New Books Magazine
‘Flatland has the gift that I most often covert in the work of other writers: the ability to make everyday events compelling ... an utterly compelling and satisfying read. It reminds us how full and rich life is, how the quietest existence can brim with urgency and drama’ Ann Morgan
‘A novel that prods and provokes ... fascinating, incredibly profound, yet somehow tender, this really does encourage an exploration of a modern family’ LoveReading
About the author
Helga Flatland is already one of Norway’s most awarded and widely read authors. Born in Telemark, Norway, in 1984, she made her literary debut in 2010 with the novel Stay If You Can, Leave If You Must, for which she was awarded the Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Prize.
She has written four novels and a children’s book and has won several other literary awards. Her fifth novel, A Modern Family, was published to wide acclaim in Norway in August 2017, and was a number-one bestseller. The rights have subsequently been sold across Europe and the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies.
Rosie Hedger was born in Scotland and completed her MA (Hons) in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has lived and worked in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and now lives in York where she works as a freelance translator. Rosie was a candidate in the British Center for Literary Translation’s mentoring scheme for Norwegian in 2012, mentored by Don Bartlett.
Visit her website: rosiehedger.com and follow her on Twitter @rosie_hedger