3 of 4
180 pages; Archipelago
Translated by Martin Aitken

Love can change everything. And it does in this edgy, elegiac and beautifully written novel. Vibeke, a young single mother, and her son, Jon, live in a remote village in Norway. On the night before Jon's ninth birthday, they set out, each with a goal: Jon, to let his mother bake his cake without him knowing, and Vibeke, to bump into a certain man she finds attractive. But Vibeke forgets Jon's birthday, and Jon forgets his house keys. Over the course of the evening, the two characters' narratives work together to expose the vulnerability of their affections; they mistake and misinterpret each other's intentions, just as they miss each other driving by in separate cars on a lonesome road. What you think will happen doesn't—and what does breaks your heart.  
— Kerri Arsenault