Thanks to the tremendous support of independent booksellers, The Cold Song is an ABA Indie Next Pick for May.
“Elegant and incisive, The Cold Song exposes a complex family drama that revolves around the day a beautiful young woman goes missing. When she is found murdered, the family must sort out their suspicions of one another and question their own degrees of responsibility for her death. This novel is a startling meditation on loss, how we deal with it, how it echoes through generations, and how our mistakes cause us to lose the ones we love.” —Jenny Patiño Cervantes, City Lit (Chicago, IL)
“In The Cold Song, Linn Ullmann unravels a haunting mystery in a close-knit seaside community. Better than that, though, she exquisitely dissects the human condition across the lifespan—from the young boys on bikes toying with the thought of blood brothers, to a woman on the cusp of adulthood determined to reinvent herself, to middle-aged spouses entrenched in work and child-rearing and even occasionally each other, to the family matriarch reflecting on her legacy. Ullmann’s gift to us is revealing, in precise and unblinking prose, these so very human characters and how (or not) they find their way.” —Kirsten Jennings, Bookbug (Kalamazoo, MI)
“Breathtaking murder mystery or heartbreaking family saga?. . . Linn Ulmann’s subtle use of the flashback leaves the reader feeling as unsettled as each of the Brodals. The tense, spare prose thoroughly conveys the coldness and withholding that pervades the entire household. Completely portrayed with intrigue and oblique humor, each character in this novel, even the very minor ones, draws you in. Mystery or saga, I enjoyed every minute of it!” —Mary Mollman, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court (Winnetka, IL)
“The Cold Song is brilliantly paced, and Linn Ullmann carefully unspools the stories of each of her characters until they are all caught in the same web of slow, sad disintegration. The heart of this novel is in the way Ullmann’s characters fail to address their own accountability—as a sister, as an artist, in a marriage, as a parent. They shift and settle, like the coastal summer fog Ullmann often invokes, but they don’t resolve. Ullmann is courageous and successful in her restraint.” —Nicole Loeffler-Gladstone, Book Culture (New York, NY)
“The Cold Song explores the terrain of a modern family full of creative talent yet having become stuck around recognizing what each of them needs. Then the disappearance of their 19-year-old nanny one summer ratchets up the tension. The unease that leaks into everyone’s attempts to do the right thing and the shifting sands that appear around what that unease might mean make for a most memorable novel with truly vivid characters.” —Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s Books (Sebastopol, CA)