*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Love, they said to him in their thin and meagre voices, we can never explain.
But do you not want to try?Author: Per Olov Enquist
Release Date: June 2nd, 2016
Genre: Memoir, Literary Fiction
The novel P.O. Enquist thought he would never be able to write.
The true story of a love affair between a fifteen-year old boy and a 51-year-old woman.
“No. Write a letter when I’m dead.”
Nine years after they met, Perola asks Ellen if he can write to her about what it meant to him. That was her response. The Parable Book, perhaps, is his.
Perola, who is not so distinguishable from Enquist himself, lived in a village in the Swedish province of Västerbotten.
Ellen, a visitor from south of Stockholm rented a cottage there for a summer.
He is 15.
She is 51.
The attraction is instant.
Their ages palindromic.
They lie down together on the knot-free pine floor.
For Perola, sexuality was “like opening the innermost door to another person”. It freed him from his religious upbringing and allowed him to become the writer he became, a titan of Swedish letters.
This is the love story he never thought he would be able to write.
And a distillation of the life and work of a great author, who owes it all to an encounter with an older woman on a knot-free pine floor.
Although some of the events are barely outlined or roughly hinted at, the way Enquist writes is evocative and lyrical, simple and elegant
The Parable Book is one of the most moving reading experience I ever had.
The Svenska Dagbladet describes The Parable Book, or Liknelseboken: En kärleksroman in Swedish – as “..a letter from a living person to a dead one” and while that is most certainly so, the parables used by P.O. Enquist seem more of dialogues the author has with himself as a third party, almost reminescent of a confession and a meditation of what is and what could’ve been.
Focusing on this unconventional, even scandalous, real-life lovestory and mainly using it to discuss sexuality, the author intelligently and sensibly tells the truths of his life by means of 9 complex, suggestive, and poetic parables with which seem to be an attempt to find balance between the sin that is inevitable under a religious light and the simple human nature.
There’s one word that has been repeatedly associated with The Parable Book – beautiful – and I don’t think that a more fitting word to describe this novel can be found.