NORMA – SOFI OKSANEN – BOOK REVIEW

Norma

Norma

Norma – From the internationally acclaimed author of Purge and When the Doves Disappeared, comes a deliciously dark family drama that is a searing portrait of both the exploitation of women’s bodies and the extremes to which people will go for the sake of beauty.

When Anita Naakka jumps in front of an oncoming train, her daughter, Norma, is left alone with the secret they have spent their lives hiding: Norma has supernatural hair, sensitive to the slightest changes in her mood – and the moods of those around her – moving of its own accord, corkscrewing when danger is near. And so it is her hair that alerts her, while she talks with a strange man at her mother’s funeral, that her mother may not have taken her own life.

Setting out to reconstruct Anita’s final months – sifting through puzzling cell phone records, bank statements, video files – Norma begins to realise that her mother knew more about her hair’s powers than she let on: a sinister truth beyond Norma’s imagining.

Reviewers Feedback:

This was a strange one. At first I thought it would be magical realism, and yes it was that. Norma has magical hair, it tells her if people are sick, if danger is near and more. It also grows really fast and she has to have her scissors near always. And then it turned into more, suspenseful, thriller like. Not really, but underneath that magical realism you could find those things.

The magical realism mixed with the suspense was sure different and not what I expected. All told in a tone that did not always convey the suspense. Not that that was a bad thing, because it’s not a thriller. It’s the story about a woman with magical hair uncovering dark secrets.

Hard to say more without sharing spoilers. It’s one of those books that are hard to explain. it really has to be read.

Author bio:

Sofi Oksanen is a Finnish-Estonian novelist and playwright. Purge was her first novel to appear in English. She has received numerous prizes for her work, including the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize, the Prix Femina, the Budapest Grand Prize, the European Book Prize, and the Nordic Council Literature Prize. She lives in Helsinki.

 

Allen & Unwin RRP $29.99 BUY

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