Weddings and funerals. Birthdays and Name Days. Christmas parties and Sunday dinners. The family is gathered, and each time it is as if its whole story is told. Everyone you love. Everyone you are loved by. The disappointments you carry. Aspirations. The gift you’re thankful for because it is the thought that counts. Sorrow that surrounds everything.
Jens is just twenty-two years old when his father dies of a heart attack. He didn’t even get to fifty. Almost twenty years later, his mother falls ill. The doctors call it an “ill-feeling” without being able to say so much more. But her memory is affected. Months are gone from her memory. “I’m nothing without my memories,” she says.
The parents divorced when Jens was only three years old. Both remarried and had new children. What has only been his, the memory of the small family of three, has always been something small but at the same time quite central. Now, with the mother’s failing memory, this story is suddenly on its way to disappear.
Weddings and funerals are a novel about being a son, father, husband, grandson, brother and friend. It’s about the desire to be taken care of and the moment you understand it’s your turn to take care of others. And then it’s about Jens, author and soon forty, highly loved and terribly scared.
I hope many will read this book, it is life-enriching in the way it says something universal about belonging, gathering threads, and being a part of one’s own life with an honesty towards oneself.
Jens M. Johansson’s latest novel gives the reader’s life meaning.
A book you’ll carry with you, long after you’ve finished it.
Natt & Dag