Friday, 3 November 2017

Norma - Sofi Oksanen

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. 

Hardcover, 312 pages
Expected publication: November 2nd 2017 by Atlantic Books
Fiction
For review

My thoughts:
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.

We find Norma in her 30s, her mother dead and she is not left alone with her secret. But then she starts digging into her mother's secrets. There is the enigmatic great grandmother's story. There is, honestly so much more. I can tell it all cos spoilers, but she finds out that the people her mother worked for are not the nicest of people. They had they hands in many things, illegal and not so illegal. Then there is the big question. Why did her mother kill herself? Or did she actually kill herself?

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. And how can it then even be magical realism when her hair plays such a big magical part. Maybe it is a fairytale in disguise.

I wonder if her name was intentional, Norma...Normal....some books just makes me want to go all analytic. I blame my education.

It's one of those books that are hard to explain. It really has to be read.


24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Not the growing like crazy in a day though

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  2. What a fascinating premise. Yes having to cut it so often would get tiring soon! Needed magical scissors!

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    Replies
    1. She had some good ones but yes it took time

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  3. Well this is defnitely different. I might check it out. I like the sound of the hair.

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  4. hmm I don't know... I've read Puhdistus and wasn't a fan. Didn't like her writing style but this sounds interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Hmmmm, peeps do seem to like that one, but I really can not say if they are the same

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  5. different, glad you enjoyed it tho, never seen magical realism mixed with thriller

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    1. It was...different. I really do not know how to explain it

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  6. Having that kind of hair would make me go bananas!

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  7. This sounds really different. I usually like books that are different. Interesting.

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  8. What an original premise. Digging into the family's dark secrets sounds intriguing, too. Great review! :)

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    1. Oh those secrets, and they were strange

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  9. Wow! It's hard to imagine having magical hair, but it sounds sort of interesting and unique. I like a thriller as well! Hugs...RO

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  10. This sounds strange! Maybe too strange for me, and I don't always do well with magical realism, but I'm glad the story was more cerebral than you expected.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. It was really strange, that hair thing was freaky

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  11. Rather sounds like a fairytale on steroids.

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