With careful, precise stitches Cecilie Enger sews together a beautiful, warming quilt of a novel – about family, women's lives, art, politics and generosity. “Family is complicated, she said – But at the same time there's nothing else we strive for.” (Gerd Elin Stava Sandve)
Severely afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, Cecilie Enger’s mother is forced to move into a nursing home. As a consequence, Cecilie’s childhood home has to be emptied and sold. While sorting through her mother’s belongings, Cecilie comes across a meticulous list detailing every single gift the members of her family have exchanged over a period of four decades; gifts received and given by a number of individuals who have suffered highly diverse fates and fortunes. Taking this list as her starting point, Cecilie Enger chronicles her family history from the late 19th century till today.
At the same time, she also tells another story. Over the course of the two years it takes her to write Mother’s Gifts, her mother’s memory and personality gradually disintegrate and vanish. This novel is a story about gifts, memories and our desire to cling on to time. Mother’s Gifts is a novel about the shaping of Norway as a modern nation, narrated with the use of artefacts and recollections.
Cecilie Enger (b. 1963 in Oslo) lives in Asker. She works as a journalist for Dagens Næringsliv as well as writing fiction. Since her debut with the novel The Necessity in 1994 she has written five novels for adults. The Mother’s Gifts won the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize in 2013.