The Norwegian Anne Tyler makes her English debut in a beautiful, insightful and perceptive novel, as a family drama creates a quiet, unexpected earthquake…
‘The most beautiful, elegant writing I’ve read in a long time. If you love Anne Tyler, you will ADORE this’ Joanna Cannon
‘A thoughtful and reflective novel about parents, siblings and the complex – and often challenging – ties that bind them’ Hannah Beckerman, The Observer
‘Absolutely loved its quiet, insightful generosity’ Claire King
When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.
Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.
A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…
‘The author has been dubbed the Norwegian Anne Tyler and for good reason. Three generations of a family head on a holiday to Italy to celebrate patriarch Sverre’s 70th birthday – but he and his wife have life-changing news to share. If you love books about dysfunctional families, you’ll love this’ Good Housekeeping
‘As they rebuild their childhood memories, it’s telling that their perceptions of themselves and their family relationships are so dramatically different. In quiet prose, Helga Flatland writes with elegance and subtle humour to produce a shrewd and insightful examination of the psychology of family and of loss’ Daily Express
‘A close examination reveals no end of structural faults and unstable foundations, all of which have to be addressed, although no before a good few of them have collapsed, requiring discussion with much painful and awkward Scandinavian honesty’ Strong Words Magazine
‘Loving the sophistication, directness and tenderness of this book’ Claire Dyer
‘This is a super exploration of families that I’d urge you to read for the subtle prose, with well defined characters and a strong storyline’ Sheila O’Reilly
‘It is the most satisfying book that I’ve read in a long time, and the most clear-eyed, honest, yet sympathetic examination of relationships that I have ever read. The subtlety with which she portrays the inconsistencies between how the characters see each other versus how they see themselves is masterful’ Sara Taylor
‘Just finished this beautiful book! Reading Helga Flatland’s A Modern Family is like watching the sun rise on a cloudy horizon; light whispers and dances and breaks over the clouds. Layers of deliciously cumulative insight – a moving and exquisite read’ Shelan Rodger
WINNER OF THE NORWEGIAN BOOKSELLERS’ AWARD