About the book
Sold toGermany: Btb/Luchterhand, Norway: Gyldendal
Somerset, England, 1992. Thirteen-year-old Iris and her mother live in a house with a small apple orchard, a house which they may or may not own. They lead a solitary life away from family and close friends, with only their neighbour, stonemason Hugo, as a potential confidante. In addition, Iris is homeschooled by her mother, who reads tarot cards for a living.
John Major is prime minister and British society is weighed down by recession, unemployment, and riots. In Iris’ world, the threats appear more indistinct. She is not sure which version of her mother’s whimsical stories to believe – stories involving the past, as well as the identity of Iris’ father. When a mysterious man appears on the street outside their house, asking Iris perturbing questions, things start to unravel.
Glasgow, Scotland, 1998. Iris is nineteen and living a bohemian lifestyle: sharing a flat with friends, working in Debenhams, playing her cello, and going to parties with art students. At a New Year’s Eve bash, she meets the ambitious musician Rupert. Together they form a band which becomes very popular with the locals, and which may potentially bring them fame. When the need for money becomes urgent, Iris’ newfound security suddenly turns precarious.
Amanda Svensson’s new novel is a story about love and ownership, loyalty and betrayal. About the lengths you will go to save what you love. About the impossibility to reach another human being, and the impossibility to not even try.