Tove Braathen

The Effect of Moonlight on the First Snow

Effekten av måneskinn på nyfallen snø

Margot is in her late thirties when her life becomes undone. She enters a conflict with the performance-driven headmaster at the high school where she teaches, her husband leaves her for a younger woman, and due to her new found circumstances she is forced to relocate from the affluent neighbourhood in Oslo west to a remote part in the east. The area is filled with strange characters, from the alcoholics gathered around the forest bonfire to the veiled immigrant women, forcing Margot to recon with her own prejudices.

In the first floor apartment of Margot’s apartment building lives Vera. She is old, sick, and unable to walk. Slowly Margot and Vera begin to develop a relationship, and are able to communicate across the differences. Vera reveals a troubling secret from long ago, with Margot being the sole confidant she feels forced to take action.

The Effect of Moonlight on the First Snow is a sharp and humorous novel about two women, and the precariousness of life.

Braathen effekten av måneskinn

“There is something of Nesbø about Braathen’s sensitivity to local dialects and her brutal depictions of the urban landscape. There is the edginess of crime fiction in the portrayal of some the characters, especially the main character’s bitter, mobility-walker-using neighbour. Her merciless scrutiny of interpersonal relationships and empty political chatter is also reminiscent of Nina Lykke.”

Dagens Næringsliv
Braathen, tove hd
Photo: Vigmostad & Bjørke

Tove Braathen (b. 1952) still resides in her birthplace Grorud, Oslo. She has a dedicated career teaching at various high schools in the same city. Braathen’s debut novel, All These Days, published last year, was praised by critics and readers alike. Braathen writes about the everyday life of people often forgotten in contemporary literature, combining sharp observations with deeply touching and entertaining feel-good narratives. With her latest novel The Effect of Moonlight on the First Snow, Braathen continues to write with the same authority of life in the eastern parts of Oslo, bringing to surface the dialogue between the political and the ordinary in urban life.