[REVIEW] The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm @PushkinPress

Yes, you are seeing correctly! No need to look twice because Breathing Through Pages is back again with a new review! Praise the lord! I do my best to read and review quickly but sometimes mental health and university get in the way. I will do my best to post reviews more frequently like I used to.

I saw this book a while back on Twitter and what first struck me was its cover which looked so interesting. I came across this book again when I requested Only Killers and Thieves and then I took a closer look at it (read the synopsis) and was SOLD. Trust me, once you read the synopsis you’ll want to find out more about it!

The Gradual Dissappearance of Jane Ashland starts with a woman, who we learn is called Jane, who wakes up in a tent somewhere in the Norwegian mountains. The devices she has which can save her from this situation don’t work so she’s left on her own. Who is Jane? What is she doing there all alone? While reading this novel we get her complete story and slowly get to know what happened to her.

As I’ve mentioned we get Jane’s life story, her university years, her marriage, her visit to her Norwegian cousins and more. Houm slowly paints a picture of Jane and her past which give us a more clear look at who she is and what kind of a person she is. We can see that Jane is a troubled individual and the way she expresses herself shows us exactly that –for example:  in the way she approaches relationships. My personal experience with this novel was positive because I love Houm’s writing style and kudos to the translator for bringing this book to life with her skills. What some people might find confusing and/or annoying will be the switching through stories from her past so you might get lost if you don’t pay attention while reading. I found this part a bit confusing at times because of university so I had to read it in smaller chunks. So listen up kids, better take notes while reading a book because with a lot of new information in your head stuff will get lost.

I would definitely recommend this book to other readers because it’s a read that will be up many people’s alleys with it’s intriguing synopsis and the story inside.

The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland is a novel you’ll be wanting to analyze after you’ve finished it.

I would like to thank the publisher Pushkin Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written in this review are my own and have not been influenced by anything.

My rating: 

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Born in Norway in 1974, Houm is an exciting new talent and critics have described him as ‘a Norwegian Don De Lillo’ and Norway’s ‘most American author, in the very best sense’. One critic said the novel as ‘combined surgically precise observations with the drive and ingenuity of the best television series’. He has published two novels which were both critically acclaimed in Norway, and this is the first English publication of his work. He works part-time as an editor in publishing house Cappelen Damm, and lives in Lier with his wife and daughter.

Find him on: Author page

14 thoughts on “[REVIEW] The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm @PushkinPress

  1. Good to have you back, Nikola. This definitely sounds like an interesting read.I have just read the book’s synopsis on goodreads. That plus your review have convinced that I need to read this one. Adding it to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this book too. I wouldn’t have noticed this book if it wasn’t for you reviewing it . Must admit I find most of my books that I want to read on Twitter.


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