Days in the History of Silence From the acclaimed Nordic Council Literature Prize winner a story that reveals the devastating effects of mistaking silence for peace and feeling shame for inevitable circumstances Eva and Simon have

  • Title: Days in the History of Silence
  • Author: Merethe Lindstrøm Anne Bruce
  • ISBN: 9781590515952
  • Page: 193
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the acclaimed Nordic Council Literature Prize winner, a story that reveals the devastating effects of mistaking silence for peace and feeling shame for inevitable circumstances.Eva and Simon have spent most of their adult lives together He is a physician and she is a teacher, and they have three grown daughters and a comfortable home Yet what binds them together isnFrom the acclaimed Nordic Council Literature Prize winner, a story that reveals the devastating effects of mistaking silence for peace and feeling shame for inevitable circumstances.Eva and Simon have spent most of their adult lives together He is a physician and she is a teacher, and they have three grown daughters and a comfortable home Yet what binds them together isn t only affection and solidarity but also the painful facts of their respective histories, which they keep hidden even from their own children But after the abrupt dismissal of their housekeeper and Simon s increasing withdrawal into himself, the past can no longer be repressed.Lindstr m has crafted a masterpiece about the grave mistakes we make when we misjudge the legacy of war, common prejudices, and our own strategies of survival.

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      Posted by:Merethe Lindstrøm Anne Bruce
      Published :2019-01-20T22:31:26+00:00

    One thought on “Days in the History of Silence”

    1. Right from the opening pages, it is evident that this is a riveting novel, one that will grab you by the lapels and keep you enthralled throughout its pages.Eva, the narrator, relates a menacing tale about her encounter with an intruder while her daughters were still young (“I was the one who let him in.”) In retrospect, she says, “Later, I called it the episode. When I talked about it with other people…The episode is the anticipation of something more. But there was nothing more, he ran [...]

    2. At one point in the story the narrator ( a woman in her early sixties) finds an empty snail shell in her closet. She suspects her husband to have placed it there, but to tell her what? What is the message of the shell? Her husband has withdrawn into silence (caused by dementia or depression or a willful silence, we don't quite know.) Each of them, husband and wife, has things in their life they decided to be silent about, with themselves, with each other, with their children, with others. Painfu [...]

    3. [4.5] A short domestic novel from Norway, with a stillness and force reminiscent of Bergman and Dreyer. I'm not sure how it does it; this review might need YMMV every other sentence. It doesn't sound different from a lot of other literary fiction, yet it had unusual effects. Why, simply by mentioning similar items, and not in great detail, did it call up memories of objects from my own earlier life with a vividness I never thought I'd experience again? The seat coverings in a family car from the [...]

    4. *I got an ARC from the publisher*This book is about dementia, secrets, the Holocaust, family, the push and pull of marriage, and silence. This silence has texture and many layers of emotion - resentment, disappointment, shock, contentment, satisfaction, and sometimes, it's just a lack of words or emotions. Eva and Simon have been married for decades and they have three grown daughters. Simon is older than her, and he has been silent for a very long time. Partially it's dementia, but mostly it's [...]

    5. I'm glad that's over. What a tedious waste of time that was. If well-constructed observations of paint drying is your thing then you are in for a treat. Likewise, if you are a student of the human condition with a keen interest in self-obsessed, despicable morons then you've found your muse. The narrator, Eva, a woman so loathsome, who's abandonment of her son reveals a lack of even the most basic animal instincts, who believes that it is an acceptable paradigm to kick her old, blind dog out ont [...]

    6. Days In The History of Silence is a book about the spaces between people, the silences that grow with time and become insurmountable. Eva and Simon have been married for several decades and Simon is now stricken with a form of demential that has, as its primary symptom, almost total silence. Simon was a physician and Eva a school teacher before they retired. Neither of them had many friends and they kept to themselves. They have three daughters, all grown, none of whom they are very close to. He [...]

    7. This book was hard to read, not because it wasn't well-written or interesting. It was hard to read because the subject matter pushed some of my buttons.Set in Norway, a woman whose husband is falling into the well of dementia struggles with whether it's time to institutionalize him.They both have secrets: he survived the Holocaust in hiding, and although she knows about it, it's an experience she cannot share, even in retrospect. Her secret is a child born out of wedlock before she met her husba [...]

    8. The scope of this story is small but the emotional effect is somehow huge. A woman struggles to care for her husband, whose dementia takes the form of him falling toward silence; in a lifetime of loving-but-flawed decisions they have made together, they have neglected to say what was most important, and now it's too late. I felt in such good hands as a reader--Lindstrøm is a master storyteller who takes this small story and turns it into something larger.

    9. Jeg vet ikke, denne fortellingen er sterk, stille og eksplosiv på én og samme gang, men jeg fant ikke ut av den, den traff meg ikke slik jeg håpet. Kanskje jeg må lese den igjen en annen tid.

    10. I have finished the book, and I still have no idea what the point was. Other than maybe to encourage communication. It just never really went anywhere.

    11. 2 1/2 stars A quiet and disturbing story of secrets, of words not spoken, and pasts not mentioned; a story about an adoption, the Holocaust, Survivors Guilt and dementia. A very unusual mix of subjects discussed in a quiet and unassuming manner. I am not quite sure how I feel about this book certainly was an interesting read, delving into the pasts of an aging couple, unlocking their secrets, I felt a bit like a voyeur privy to their intimate secrets. I did not understand why they kept such secr [...]

    12. Eva, a retired teacher, and Simon, a former doctor, are an older couple living in Norway with three grown daughters. Simon no longer speaks. It is unclear whether this is a choice or whether it is a symptom of dementia. Her daughters are encouraging Eva to place Simon in a home, leaving the application forms for her to complete on the hall table, where Eva is successfully ignoring them.As Eva craves the words of her husband, she remembers their life together and her memories shed some light on t [...]

    13. Allt är till synes harmoniskt i deras liv. Eva är förre detta lärare, Simon är pensionerad läkare, de har tre vuxna döttrar tillsammans och bor i ett fint hus. Så slutar Simon att tala (är det demens eller straffar han Eva, får man som läsare avgöra själv) och lämnar sin fru ensam med det förflutna. Och i det finns ett mörker som makarna har velat hålla stängt ute. De vill inte släppa in någon i deras liv och skaffa nära vänner. Döttrarna ska inte veta något om deras för [...]

    14. What's more moody-gloomy than a novel detailing the everyday life of an elderly couple (in remote Scandinavia, no less!) But I couldn't put down this book from its compelling opening that hints at a secret that looms in the silence. Gives silence bones in ways that leave me in awe of Lindstrom's subtle styling and slow but unmethodical (very difficult!) plotting.

    15. This book by a Norwegian author explores the stories not told by a fictional Norwegian couple and the impact they have on their own relationship, with their children, and others around them. The stories come out slowly and the suspense is in the silence being partially lifted for us as readers.

    16. This book relays grief, loss and loneliness about family secrets and deep seeded pain, but it does so very slowly and that pace made it an exhausting read.

    17. 'Jag sa att det finns saker jag inte berättar för någon Ingen vet vilka vi är. Ingen annan än man själv.'

    18. Let me wax poetic about the harmonious symmetry of cover design and book. I forgot to check who was the designer, but this is wonderful. The neutral blank spaces, only slightly tinged with colour and shadow, on the front and the back, and the complementary yet contrasting light lime green on the fold inside that appear when you flip past the cover. It communicates contemplation, reserve, quiet wonder at plainness. The book looks like a Hammershoi - his paintings of sparsely furnished interior sp [...]

    19. Nordic writers, it turns out, do not all write thrillers and crime stories. It was refreshing to find a Norwegian novel that's a reflective, tightly focused domestic drama — taking "drama" in a rather loose sense because nothing much happens in this story of an aging couple who drift into silence and lack of communication, not just with each other but with their children and most of the world. Each has a secret that might be better talked about. But they do not talk. Does their silence lead to [...]

    20. This resonated for me in so many ways. It left me feeling bereft for reasons having to do with my age and the anticipation of things to come. It reminded me of my good friend, Leon Leyson, who was saved of Oscar Schindler and who also did not tell his children about his experience in Poland during the war--until they were of a age to better understand. It reminded me of a dear friend whose husband entered early-onset dementia quite some time ago and who spends time in adult daycare. And he no lo [...]

    21. Typically I love quiet books that keep you inside the head of the main character but this book seemed a little confusing at times and lacked enough substance to keep my interest throughout much of it.

    22. There is something intangible about this book. You cannot grasp silence. You can observe it, its effects, like the wind, but there is always that distance. And there are so many silences: not talking because you’ve forgotten how or don’t want to or because you can’t find the right words or because it’s a secret and the time isn’t right, so you bite your tongue and bide your time. The narrator of this book is an old woman, Eva, although she might as well be nameless. No one calls her th [...]

    23. I wasn't sure how I felt about this book but it has stayed with me. Would make for a good discussion about loss and defining oneself through relationships.

    24. Days in the History of Silence details an aging couple whose reluctance to discuss the secrets that they keep threatens to deepen the gorge of silence between them and others. The narrator, Eva, writes as honestly as she can yet avoids inviting the reader fully into her and her husband Simon’s world. She treats the reader much like she and Simon treat their three daughters—providing enough information to satisfy but staying at a distance. How much of this is for the daughters’ (readers’) [...]

    25. This book was incredibly tedious to read. I'm not sure how much of this problem could be contributed to the translation of it; maybe some of its flavor had been lost in translation from Norwegian to English, causing it to seem more bland to me than it really is. I was interested in the idea of it and I could still see the depth of the author shining through in many places. I could appreciate the immense self-reflection that our narrator, Eva, was partaking in. But something about the way it's wr [...]

    26. A couple of wet and wild Fridays ago I managed to escape the office an hour early and treated myself to a little browse in Daunt Books on Cheapside. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but for some reason I was drawn to Merethe Lindstrøm's Days in the History of Silence and kept picking it up.I had never heard of the author, nor the book, but I decided I had to buy it. There was something about it which suited my mood and the mood of the weather — cold, damp, melancholic. As it turns [...]

    27. Starenje, taj ireverzibilni životni proces, koji nas zaskoči i onda pretresamo događaje kojih smo bili pokretači ili tek puki nemoćni promatrači Kako su se te stvari odrazile na nas, na našu obitelj? Pripovjedačica starije životne dobi prvo se osvrće na događaj kada joj je nepoznati muškarac pokucao na vrata i zamolio da ga pusti u kuću kako bi mogao telefonirati. Iako naslućuje da je posudba telefona tek izgovor da uđe u njezinu kuću, ona ga pušta unutra. A onda se javlja osje [...]

    28. An elderly Norwegian couple (living in a city which may be Bergen?) keep themselves to themselves, and have no friends. The husband Simon, a former physician, has a form of dementia and says very little - one of the many silences of the book. The wife, the narrator, is a former teacher, and a rather cold character. Both have their own secrets (he is Jewish, and spent the war years in another country in hiding and in enforced silence, but his children know nothing about his past: she had a child [...]

    29. My expectations were high when I started reading, but after some pages I realized there was no arc of suspense and I shouldn't expect one either. The story is about silence, and mostly about the 'bad' silence. Secrets unrevealed, being a constant burden. It's a rather depressing and sad story about an old couple - he, suffering from dementia, starts talking to his wife. She is struggling with that fact, especially because only she knows his whole story (he is a jew, most of his family died in th [...]

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