By Marcus Jarl

JULIA BERGMAN RUNS from the neonatal-unit to the maternity ward several times a day. When she is called it is because a newborn baby needs her help. It can be a tiny heart not beating or a baby not breathing, and every second is always indispensable. But then one day, Julia is met by something that makes her gasp for breath herself. 

HER OLDER SISTER, Liv, lives with her husband Henrik and their two children in a perfect house in a perfect suburb. Julia lives in a small apartment and has shared custody with her ex, only getting to see her four-year-old son every second week. She tries to keep everything together, her long shifts at the hospital being incompatible with pick-up hours at her son’s daycare. And her ex who seems determined to make her life a living hell. She has a strong wish to share her struggles with her sister, but they haven’t been close in many years. And they both know why. Their relationship is about to change again, drastically, and Julia is forced to decide who she wants to be – as a sister and as a nurse.

ABOUT A SISTER is a novel about love/hate-relationships, a damaged sisters-bond and the consequences of professional secrecy. What happens when you have knowledge of someone else’s deepest secret, something that would alter your sister’s reality, when you are bound by law not to tell it? Not even to the one person that really deserves to know?

To be published by Norstedts, August 2023

Denmark, Lindhart & Ringhof
Germany, Fischer Verlag
Norway, Bonnier Forlag
Sweden, Norstedts

The characters are typical, but never one dimensional. Several nuances are captured. Jarl is in his essence when he manages to depict how close love, fear and shame are, how one depending on the situation can transition to another, how no personalities are carved in stone and how our relationships are formed by previous ones. The reader carries with them several razor sharp depictions from the story after finishing. The novel is without a doubt the best from Jarl so far.