Siri Helle

Coming Home

Trollefossvegen 23

Siri Helle had long dreamed of her own potatoes and vegetables, trees and animals, but purchase contracts, bank loans, and the prospect of seeing only the same view every day scared her. As an adult, she has moved more than 30 times.

But one day, Siri Helle takes the big leap and moves back home to the village where she grew up. She and her husband buy a house, an outbuilding, and almost two acres of land in a clustered garden. She plans on living here forever. But can she find peace?

Siri gives herself one year. One year to find out if she fits this life, if she can say she is satisfied with having moved back to her home village. She carves, grows, hunts, fishes, and makes two- and four-legged friends. Her feelings range from dark despair to flashes of ecstatic happiness. This is a story about a home and about the joy of work, but it is also a love story. It is about being two people working together on a tremendous project. What new possibilities open when you close all doors except one?

‘This is a delightful and timely book about resilience and environmental care (…) This story of ingenuity and determination is an inspirational read for anyone keen to explore how they can live a more self-sufficient life’. – Clare Hunter, author of Threads of Life, About Handmade

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‘If you’re only going to read one book this year about re-establishing yourself in the village where you grew up, it has to be this one. (…) All of these trendy terms – sustainability, locally sourced, recyling, circular economy, and so on – are all tested here on a very specific Western Norwegian reality.’

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Photo: David Zadig

Siri Helle is an agronomist in organic farming. She occasionally works as a writer and journalist, carpenter assistant, and goat herder. Helle has written several books. Her previous title Handmade (2020) is published by Granta Books/UK and Rowohlt verlag/Germany.