Jens M. Johansson

A Good Life

Et godt liv

Jens M. Johansson’s big breakthrough in Norway, shamelessly praised by critics – readers are already calling it a Norwegian Elena Ferrante.

The story revolves around Elsa. We follow her from when she is born on the day before the Second World War breaks out, and to her death. Simon is the narrator. He is married to Elsa’s youngest daughter. Katya has always been furious with her mother. Now – as Katya and Simon’s marriage is falling apart – he starts to piece together Elsa’s forgotten life. Simon’s pursuit through letters, diaries, small notes and receipts gradually becomes more desperate.
He has to understand Elsa in order to understand Katya, to save their marriage. And most importantly – he is afraid he will inflict his son Leon with the unhappiness he feels in his own marriage.
The novel describes Elsa’s social climb and a world in quick transformation:
a world war, a sexual revolution. It shows how minor details are crucial to a human’s destiny. It’s about the fragile choices we make in our lives, about expectations and betrayal. A moving story about love, marriage, family and a sense of belonging.

Johansson et godt liv hd

‘When it comes to illuminating our most private rooms, in all their vulnerable and comical joy, Johansson is one of a kind.’


‘Jens M. Johansson’s new novel is an intense, well-written, well-documented story of our fragile lives, our longing for meaning and love. Look forward to a deep and meaningful reading experience!’

Johansson, jens m. photo paal audestad
Photo: Paal Audestad

Jens M. Johansson made his debut in 2002. In 2013 he published Bryllup og begravelser (Weddings and Funerals), which was named best book of the year by many critics. A Good Life is his fifth novel. Johansson is also a praised journalist, famous for outstanding portraits, some collected in the non-fiction book: Dead fathers (2012)