The notion that "childhood is a trauma you spend the rest of your life getting over" would apply to Marion, the main character of Linda Olsson's new novel The Memory of Love
. Marion, who is originally named Marianne but changes her name to separate herself from her painful past, moves from London to a remote coast of New Zealand to escape her memories. A retired surgeon, she lives in a small house on a desolate bit of land by the sea. She takes walks, tells the time by the sun, and exists in a tightly controlled, emotionally isolated life. When she meets the young boy Ika, a partially autistic child, who loves the sea as much as she does and has a painful home situation, she begins to reorder her life in new ways. She cooks soup for him in anticipation of their Thursday meetings and allows him to play her piano. As she gets to know Ika and feels the happiness of caring for...
Beyond the Book
The Memory of Love
is mainly set in New Zealand where Swedish author Linda Olsson spends half the year. She spends the other half in her native Sweden. Olsson's novels have enjoyed worldwide readership, something, she says that most New Zealand authors rarely experience. There are brilliant New Zealand writers, Olsson says, whom many in the larger English-reading world have not heard of. Here are three to put on your to-read list:
was born in 1947 to Scottish, English and Maori (native inhabitants of New Zealand) parentage,...