Berit Rødstøl: THE AFTERMATH

Cover of "The Aftermath"

Etter punktum
Published by Samlaget, 2020

A Village That Will Not Forget
After a young girl dies in a tragic bus accident, a small West-Norwegian hamlet spirals into a dark cloud of grief and accusations. Stine, the daughter of the bus driver, loses her best friend in the incident. She is torn between her grief over losing her best friend and her anxiety about her father and their family falling into ruin. Eventually both Stine and her mother, Ingrid, become ostracised from their friends and those around them.

After fifteen years, Stine returns to take over her family farm and is surprised to discover that her village still hasn’t forgotten. The scar from the accident never fully healed, and the locals don’t take kindly to Stine’s homecoming. The novel alternates between flashbacks to just after the accident itself as Stine and Ingrid try to grieve, and the present day, as the town’s collective mourning comes back in full force.

The story revolves around what takes place after the full-stop. About a collective feeling loss that refuses to heal, about the right to grieve, and inheriting of someone else’s wrongdoings.

Berit Rødstøl (b. 1979) is an author, journalist and documentary filmmaker. She made her literary debut in 2010 with her novel Himmelreisande, about Laika the dog’s journey into space in 1957. The review from the daily paper, Morgenbladet, described the book as: “An engaging debut about the humans, and the hound, behind the conquest of space. […] Rødstøl succeeds in creating believable characters that may reflect an earlier time, but still struggle with ethical conundrums that we as a country have yet to solve.” She has also published the children’s book, Frøppeldunk (2015) together with illustrator Christian Fjerdbu.