From the author of Drowned, a passionate psychological drama where questions of power and sexuality are brought to a head.
She works at Norrköping Hospital, at the very bottom of the hierarchy: in the cafeteria, below the doctors, the nurses, and the nursing assistants. But she dreams of one day becoming a writer, of moving away and reinventing herself.
Carl Malmberg, an older, married doctor at the hospital, catches her eye. She begins an intense affair with him, though struggling with the knowledge that he may never be hers. At the same time, she realizes that their attraction to each other is governed by their differences in social status. As her doubts increase, the revelation of a secret no one could have predicted forces her to take her own destiny in hand.
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a stark read. There is no fluff here. Whether that is due to the original author, or in part to a very skilful translation to English, I’m not sure – but it’s probably both. The emotions of the main character aren’t dressed up, or even particularly laboured over, but the reader is left in no doubt as to her feelings as the whole book is spent in her head.
Her self-loathing, hopefulness hopelessness all shine from the pages and add to any muting horror the reader feels at her spiralling situation. The grittiness and lack of reader-cording or comfort really create the mood, and help to bring the bleak setting alive.
I loved that the book wasn’t set in the U.K or U.S. It made a change for my reading. In no way was it a cookie-cutter story with a well-worn formula I’ve rad before, and it wasn’t at all sentimental. The main character is fairly unreliable and, at times, border-line unlikeable, although her behaviour can at least always be understood, if not empathised with. Her thoughts seem very honest. They aren’t dressed-up to impress anyone. They’re every-day musings, and she lies to herself about her life and what she is and does, but that human aspect of The Other Woman is compelling.
The book is a quick read, and it has no chapter breaks to pull the reader from the internal monologue. Th works very well for full immersion into her life.