Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The White City: A Novel by Karolina Ramqvist, Saskia Vogel

Karolina Ramqvist is a Swedish journalist and writer.
Ramqvist has been the chief editor of the magazine Arena and critic for Dagens Nyheter. She became widely known when she published a private letter from Ulf Lundell in the anthology Fittstim. She has also appeared in the magazine Bang. Ramqvist is married to journalist Fredrik Virtanen.
Karolina Ramqvist is the granddaughter of the Svedberg.
Karolina Ramqvist has been hailed as “one of Sweden’s truly interesting young writers” (Dagens Nyheter) with “a great talent for creating imagery and building atmosphere” (Dagbladet) and she’s a powerful literary voice on contemporary issues of sexuality, commercialization, isolation, and belonging. An immediate bestseller upon publication, The White City is an arresting and intimate novel of betrayal and empowerment from a bold, fearless writer.
Karin knew what she was getting herself into when she fell for John, the high-flying criminal and love of her life. But she never imagined things would turn out like this: John is now gone and the coke-filled parties, seemingly endless flow of money, and high social status she previously enjoyed have been replaced by cut telephone lines, cut heat, and cut cash. All that remains of Karin’s former life is the big house he bought for her—and his daughter, the child Karin once swore she would never bring into their dangerous world. Now Karin is alone with baby Dream, and the old promise of “the family” has proved alarmingly empty. With the authorities zeroing in on organised crime, John’s shady legacy is catching up with her, and the house is about to be seized. Over the course of a few nerve-wracking days, Karin is forced to take drastic measures in order to claim what she considers rightfully hers.
A slow-burning psychological thriller with a sophisticated, dreamlike atmosphere, The White City is both the portrayal of one woman’s struggle to pull herself up from the paralysing depths of despair, and an unflinching examination of what it means to lose control—over your body, your life, and your fate.
I  do believe that at least at one point in her life a woman is both fascinated and petrified by the idea of having a baby. Until four years ago, I was almost certain in my own plan: once I hit 30 I will adopt one and that will be all... I will adopt. Things have changed  now and I still want to adopt, but that is not my only option. 

Therefore, this novel captivated my interested from the very description. I was reading away, the recounting in minute detail of a day centered on feeding her daughter, taking a shower, changing diapers, and napping should have been dull as dishwater, but was so rich in mood and detail, so brilliantly written, that I was captured. The pages flew by, there’s a constant tension, a creeping unease. A very strong read that moves the deepest core of the human soul. 

This novel is utterly unputdownable. You can't help but read on, wondering how Karin is going to turn this around and figure out a way for her and her daughter to survive. Gritty and real.4FOXGIVEN