Reluctantly, 16-year-old Knut goes on a trip to Canada with his mother Gunhild. The plan is to follow the footsteps of his great-grandfather who left his wife and six children in Norway, never to return. Knut has dropped out of school after a serious act of violence against his best mate. His mother’s aim is to make this trip into turning point. Moreover, she also has an urge to get away. The journey takes them into the great Canadian wilderness where nothing turns out to be as they have planned or imagined.
Have a good life is an engaging drama about a complicated relationship between mother and son. This is an existential novel about belonging and separation, about finding your place in the world. The story is inspired by Kvalvåg’s own grandfather who left the family and lived the last 30 years of his life alone in Canada.
From the reviews:
“Electrifyingly good, about people as they are.” – DAG OG TID
“A mesmerizing novel about belonging and liberation. Sharply nuanced, Kvalvaag portrays a mother’s need for connection as her son slips from her grasp and into something that is solely his own. The author breaks down the concept of trust and writes provocatively about letting go. For a mother and son, traveling through the vast unknown, it is a story simply about taking responsibility for one’s own life.”
– Anne Catherine Straume, NRK Radio P2
Hilde K. Kvalvaag (b. 1968) has written several award-winning books. Among others, she won the Brage Prize for young adult novels with her book Fengsla (Imprisoned) in 2008. Several of her books in this category are translated into German.