Will and Testament
Written by Vigdis Hjorth
Translated by Charlotte Barslund
A journey into the troubled mind of a woman suppressing the deep trauma of her past, and her family who goes to great lengths to preserve the illusion.
LONGLISTED FOR NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE
SURPRISE YOUR SHELF #002 SELECTION
Four siblings. Two summer houses. One terrible secret.
When a dispute over her parents’ will grows bitter, Bergljot is drawn back into the orbit of the family she fled 20 years before. Her mother and father have decided to leave two island summer houses to her sisters, disinheriting the two eldest siblings from the most meaningful part of the estate.
To outsiders, it is a quarrel about property and favouritism. But Bergljot, who has borne a horrible secret since childhood, understands the gesture as something very different—a final attempt to suppress the truth and a cruel insult to the grievously injured.
Will and Testament is a lyrical meditation on trauma and memory, as well as a furious account of a woman’s struggle to survive and be believed. Vigdis Hjorth’s novel became a controversial literary sensation in Norway and has been translated into 20 languages.
Read if you: have ever had your advice ignored by your parents, only to see them following it because your sibling said the same thing later.