It is the Easter holiday and Viola, her husband Axel and their two teenage daughters go down to Skåne, where they have borrowed a house not far from a retirement home where Axel’s mother is living.
During her visits to her mother-in-law, Viola meets an old lady, Lea, who gives her a few novellas she has written. These evocative stories become a refuge during the tumultuous days that follow in the disused house. Since Axel first started sickening four years earlier he’s changed, and now everything deteriorates even more.
At the same time as Viola begins to sense the underlying truth of Lea’s stories, she realises she is actually afraid of her husband. Who is he? And does she still love him?
On the Other Side of the Sun is a powerful novel about lies and deceit, love and sorrow. And about a dramatic human destiny in China, during the Civil War.
When she is close to her main character’s experience the prose is often subtle and gently suggestive. Ernestam creates a fine balance between Viola’s words and the reader’s mental images.
[…] in her concern for the language and feeling for the importance of detail Ernestam shows her insights as a psychological realist.