Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard

"SupportSpring by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Penguin Press, 2018

Genre:  Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5.0

The third book in the author’s four-part, seasonal series, Spring is soft, subtle, and sublime.  The story comes to life quietly, like a blossoming flower, each word unfolding with a gentle curl.  Written as a letter to his newborn daughter, the narrator takes us through one entire day of his life, making even the most mundane of actions transcend time and place, exquisitely.  In doing so, he reveals the reason for his wife’s notable absence and the debilitating depression she endured during the pregnancy.   The narrator lovingly documents the family context and history to help ground his infant daughter later in life.  A desperate attempt of a father to firmly anchor his daughter into this world.

“Sometimes it hurts to live, but there is always something to live for.”

Stunning in its simplicity and beauty.

Honestly, I often found myself impatient at the slow pace of Knausgaard’s Spring.  A recovering Type A personality, I must confess that I caught myself wanting to fast-forward to the end of the book.  And then I would catch a glimpse of a sentence that was so beautiful and serene, that I would be reminded to slow down and enjoy the gradual evolution of the story, to appreciate the way the words trickle down the page like raindrops on a leaf after a spring rain.  Therein lies the challenge with this book, to slow down the pace of your life, to appreciate the simple beauty of a perfectly crafted sentence.

If you are into fast-paced drama or plot-based stories, then this might not be your cup of tea.  But I encourage you to try it while comfortably lounging in a hammock or on a sunny lounge chair, forcing you to slow down your pace and appreciate the quiet beauty of this book.  For although there were moments when the banality of it lured me to sleep, by the end of the book I was able to sit back and appreciate Spring in its entirety.  I know I am eager for the release of the final installment, Summer, later this month.

And finally there is the sheer beauty of the book itself.  Illustrated by Anna Berger, it is like a little museum piece, with masterpieces interspersed throughout the book.  This is definitely one that you will want to purchase at your local bookstore:


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2 thoughts on “Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard

  1. nice review
    it seems apt that a book describing one day should flow slowly with intention

    Liked by 1 person

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