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A Modern Family

Written by: Helga Flatland
Narrated by: Nina Yndis
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The Norwegian Anne Tyler makes her English debut in a beautiful, bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights....

When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s 70th birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce. 

Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history. 

A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change....

©2019 Helga Flatland (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"There is a hint of Ingmar Bergman in this portrayal of a completely normal family, it delves deep and wrenches your heart." (Adresseavisen)

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  • Mandie Griffiths
  • 21-12-19

exploring the family dynamic

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland is bloody brilliant – there I have said it…. Job done review over. Only joking – well the review over part anyway. I listened to the audiobook of this back in June 2019 whilst on a road trip from Northumberland to Stirling and although I am only now just getting around to writing the review, the book itself has stuck with me. What makes this book special? There are no murders, there are no great mysteries to solve…. It’s about family. It could be any family and it could be in any location as really these are both secondary to the actual story. And that is the beauty of it.
In telling the story of Liv, Ellen and Håkon and how they deal with the bombshell that after years of marriage that their parents are divorcing, Helga has essentially managed to tap into the lives of just about everyone who reads this book. Not necessarily from the perspective of divorcing parents, but the family dynamic itself. I certainly recognised some of the things that happened as mirroring my own happyish dysfunctional family, but in a way that made me smile. As you watch how the decision made by the parents have a ripple effect on the children, you witness them question their own lives and decisions, and struggle with what lies ahead for them and how the family dynamic will change forever. They feel like their safety blanket has been taken away from them, after all they had no idea that this was even a possibility. Despite them all now being grown up, they still don’t understand it.
The more I listened to the book, the more I became drawn to the story. It certainly highlights that no matter how close you may think you are as a family, you don’t always know what is going on and that at times, you see only what you want to or more specifically what you are allowed to. If you are looking for a complete change of pace and want to delve into the psychology of family and relationships, then this really is a book you should pick up a copy of this book and dive between the covers and I challenge you to not be able to relate to it even some small way.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ewa Sinclair
  • 27-06-19

Very moving story and great performance

I loved the great performance by the actress of Norwegian descent. It’s adds to the authenticity.
Moving family story, nothing new but written in an engaging way.