Anne’s life is rushing to an unexpected and untimely end. But her diagnosis of terminal cancer isn’t just a shock for her – and for her daughter Sigrid and granddaughter Mia – it shines a spotlight onto their fractured and uncomfortable relationships.
A spur-of-the moment trip to France acts as a catalyst for the three generations of women to reveal harboured secrets, long-held frustrations and suppressed desires – and to learn humbling and heartwarming lessons about how life should be lived when death is so close.
With all of Helga Flatland’s trademark insight, sharp yet warm wit and deep empathy, One Last Time examines the great dramas that can be found in ordinary lives, asks the questions that matter to us
all – and ultimately celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.
An enchantingly beautiful novel that urges us to treasure what we have and rethink how we live our lives, from one of Norway’s most distinguished literary novelists.
This is the first book I have read by Helga Flatland but it certainly won’t be the last.
When Anne receives the devastating news that her cancer is terminal, it is the push that her troubled family needs to try and resolve the problems that have been festering between them for many years so that they can pull together for the sake of the head of the family.
The story pays close attention to the relationship between Anne and her daughter Singrid and the impact that their troubled relationship has played on Singrids relationship with her own daughter Mia. The story then alternates between the varying perspectives of both Anne and Singrid as we get a deeper insight into their individual lives and the events that have made them the people they are today.
This was one of those stories that you find yourself being swept away with from the moment you start reading it. Despite the rather harrowing theme this story follows, this story has some truly beautiful moments laced throughout this complex storyline. The author expertly explores the family dynamics of an already strained family, and how these relationships are pushed to their limits when the family is given the devastating news of their loved ones terminal illness.
The characters in this book are all wonderfully developed and have relatable and realistic personalities. Each character brings something different to the story and gives you a truly unique outlook on how events take place around them. With a truly gripping plot that is full of drama and intrigue, this is one of those stories that will stay with you for quite some time.
About the Author
Helga Flatland is already one of Norway’s most awarded and widely read authors.
Born in Telemark, Norway, in 1984, she made her literary debut in 2010 with the novel Stay If You Can, Leave If You Must, for which she was awarded the Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Prize. She has written four novels and a children’s book and has won several other literary awards.
Her fifth novel, A Modern Family (her first English translation), was published to wide acclaim in Norway in August 2017, and was a number-one bestseller. The
rights have subsequently been sold across Europe and the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies. One Last Time was published in Norway in 2020, where it
topped the bestseller lists, and was shortlisted for the Norwegian Booksellers Award.
*Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things tours, Orenda Books and Helga Flatland for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*