WINNER OF THE 2016 AUGUST PRIZE – BOOK OF THE YEAR
Three voices, a search for love and a manuscript that can’t seem to find its home.
Ellinor is from a small village in the very south of Sweden. She advertises in the personals: I’m thirty-six years old and looking for a tender, but not too tender, man. But the men she meets are not quite what she hoped they would be. Pleasure is an elusive thing and love even more so.
Max Lamas is dreaming of a polyglot lover, a lover that will understand him in every tongue. The search takes him all the way from Stockholm to Italy, where he befriends a Marchioness teetering at the edge of ruin.
And Lucrezia, in Italy, witnesses her grandmother’s utter, final downfall in a deserted palace, their whole world a mere shadow of what used to be.
A manuscript wanders in and out of their lives, binding them together, cared for by some, hated by others, but leaving no one unaffected.
“Wolff’s prose has a quality of ‘otherness’ entirely in keeping with the surreal atmosphere of the novel. … a cool, clever and fierce addition to the canon of modern feminist literature.” – The Guardian
“A filmic offering … channelling the spirit of Pedro Almodóvar. A thoroughly invigorating novel.” – The Independent
“With linguistic precision Wolff highlights scents, flavours, sights, making the reading experience almost physical. The hot asphalt in Barcelona, the taste of wine or bodily fluids running down a thigh: everything is captured with a palpable sensuality.” Elin Grelsson, Goteborgs-Posten
“Wolff is reminiscent of Pedro Almodovar, twisting and turning the gender roles, allowing women to shine and gain the upper hand.” Anneli Jordahl, Sydsvenskan