BARA NÅGON ATT STRAFFA – SOMONE TO PUNISH
By Kristofer Ahlström
A young man returns to Gotland, the island where he grew up. He is about to bury his mom who, lonely and destitute, killed herself.
The last thing she did was to sell her beloved family farm on Fårö to a mainlander, against her will.
After the funeral he travels to the house with his childhood friend Jonas. There are memories of the past everywhere: summers on the island, the never ending teenage thirst for excitement, the bullies and the close ties to his mother. The grandfathers paintings are still hanging on the wall in chronological order and in the boxes you can find the reminiscence of past generations.
But elsewhere nothing is what it used to be and places that used to feel like like home now feels strange. Trees have been cut down to create ocean views, beaches have become private and barns have been turned into trendy shops. He thinks that this is colonialism; rich summer guests who have pushed away the islanders.
In three weeks the farm will no longer be his. Everything has to be cleaned out to make room for the new. But as the days go by his anger and sadness about what has happened, both with his mom and the island, grows bigger and eventually everything bursts. Together with a manodepressive girl from the neighboring farm and a dying querulant he goes on a crusade to take back the island, to bring the memories back with the present.
Someone to punish is a powerful and mature debut about a fantasy of revenge that turns into reality, a reality that becomes more and more vague until the personal conviction about whats right is all you can see.
ABOUT THE BOOK
First published by Forum 2011-03-09
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