Wednesday 27 September 2017

The White City by Karolina Ramqvist @Ramqvist @AtlanticBooks @atlanticbooks1

 Karin knew what she was getting herself into when she fell for John, the high-flying criminal and love of her life. But she never imagined things would turn out like this: John is now gone and the coke-filled parties, seemingly endless flow of money and high social status she previously enjoyed have been replaced by cut telephone lines, cut heat and cut cash. All that remains of Karin's former life is the big house he bought for her - and his daughter, the child Karin once swore she would never bring into their dangerous world.
Now Karin is alone with the baby, and the old promise of 'the family' has proved alarmingly empty. With the authorities zeroing in on organized crime, John's shady legacy is catching up with her, and the house is about to be seized. Over the course of a few nerve-wracking days, Karin is forced to take drastic measures in order to claim what she considers rightfully hers.
A slow-burning psychological thriller with a sophisticated, dreamlike atmosphere, The White City is both the portrayal of one woman's struggle to pull herself up from the paralyzing depths of despair, and an unflinching examination of what it means to lose control - over your body, your life and your fate.

The White City by Karolina Ramqvist was published in paperback by Grove Press / Atlantic Books on 10 August 2017.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

The White City is a short, but intense and strangely compelling story. This author tells nothing, but shows everything with lyrical prose that is both tense and sophisticated.

The reader is introduced to Karin and her small daughter and follows their every thought and every move over a couple of days. It is clear that Karin has, in the past, enjoyed a life of luxury and glamour in her expensive house with her wealthy husband John. However, John has left and the house that was once her palace has now become her prison. Cold and empty, she and her daughter are trapped. Faced with eviction and with no friends, Karin is compelled to take action, to save herself and her daughter.

The White City is a book that begs to be read, although there were times when I wondered just where this story was heading, there is something about the quality of the writing and the excellent descriptions that I found quite hypnotising. Karolina Ramqvist takes her reader into the depths of Karin's thoughts. We experience her every emotion; her despair, her anger and her utter bewilderment at her situation.

The author excels at creating atmosphere and suspense. The biting cold atmosphere of the setting and the iciness of the characters that Karin reaches out to are startling and brilliantly portrayed.

There is no doubt that The White City is very bleak, yet it is also so very beautifully told. I was very impressed by this one and would recommend it highly.

Karolina Ramqvist is one of the most influential feminists and writers of her generation in Sweden and she has published several novels, short stories, essays, and criticisms in leading political and literary publications.
She is the former editor-in-chief of Arena magazine and lives in Stockholm with her husband and children.
The White City is her English debut.

Follow her on Twitter @Ramqvist  

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Anne. This one has sounded very interesting to me!