A very good relationship novel… Ernestam is like a wise therapist.
– Magnus Utvik, Swedish Television Gomorron Sverige.
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.
Can one win an Oscar, a BAFTA or a Grammy for the most beautiful prose style? If so, Maria Ernestam clinches it. I’d fall on my knees in a pool of mud for her words, deliciously entwined throughout this tale set in Skåne. A journey uncovers a family’s destiny, taking a detour via China. Properly worked through and worth reading.
A horribly believable account of how sick things can become healthy, and wrong can be right.
…the dark sides of the human psyche are drawn with psychological depth.
As a reader one quickly gets into her head (Viola) and, without undue exertion enters into her fears and frustrations. Thoughts about promises in life, about love and eternity are conveyed through her, with apt references to Anglo-Saxon poetry, which is her speciality.
– Borås Tidning
Many times Maria Ernestam’s authorship has its feet thrust deep into the mud of ordinary existence, yet with a startling imagination that flies through the air. ‘On the Other Side of the Sun‘ is no exception. Again she shows her commitment to writing about ordinary human beings in a way that makes the narrative both stirring and mysterious.
Irrespective of the choices she makes, Maria Ernestam knows the art of telling a multi-layered story. And she remains as one of my unrivalled favourites in Swedish writing.
– Nerikes Allehanda
The contents are often rather spicy, also on this occasion.
This is exactly what Maria Ernestam does so well. She constructs her books with relationships verging on the unpleasant. Nonetheless we want to know what’s going to happen and how things will resolve themselves in this family…
– Swedish Radio P4 Halland
Maria Ernestam’s first few books were much talked about because of their well-written use of literary burlesque. In her latest she changes the tone and terms of reference by confronting the eternal questions of love, sorrow and loyalty both towards those who are close to us and in relating to our own conscience. Further intensity comes out of the fact that the novel is to some extent factually based on actual events in the author’s family background. This is a story with both depth and content and epic largesse. It concerns solidarity between women, shared pain and loyal support far beyond the generation divide. Also fantastically well rendered with a fine sense of the aesthetics of our language. Read it!
Maria Ernestam flexes the concept of ‘for better or worse’. How much should one put up with, how much is a marriage worth? There is also a parallel story here of a young couple who journey to China to work as missionaries. Their story is about love. And a little about eternity. And how love may be the only thing that is eternal. A moment frozen in time.