In Eventide, Swedish author Therese Bohman presents a portrait of an aging woman in academia who's as forceful and cutting as she is vulnerable and tender. In the aftermath of the dissolution of her long-term romantic relationship, Karolina Andersson feels adrift. Her only anchor is her art history professorship at the University of Stockholm, but as a middle-aged academic, Karolina feels restless in her personal life and insecure in her professional one. As she seeks satisfaction and companionship, she is continuously pulled back to Anton Strömberg, a graduate student--and her advisee--who is working on a dissertation that could change the art history academic landscape. Karolina is struck by Anton's energy and confidence, and soon cannot stop her complex emotional life from intertwining with her professional one.

The atmosphere of a pressurizing and unmoored academic life is translated perfectly on the page. Bohman's prose is clear-eyed and arresting, constructing Karolina's character as both an enigma and an open book. The complexities of this protagonist are incisively realized, and build in both emotional tenor and nuanced uncertainties as the novel progresses. Never does Bohman suggest a judgmental or editorialized reading of Karolina's weaknesses and insecurities, nor does she excuse her actions and thoughts. Instead, Eventide's uncompromising prose and Karolina's unapologetic character lead the plot through its rhythmic crests and collapses, riding the waves of disappointment and desperation that exemplify professional and personal ambition. By the end, the reader is contented, like Karolina, to float amid implied depths of doubt and be mesmerized by the impassioned psychological insights that rise to the surface. --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor

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