Rating: 5 stars plus out of 5
Oskar Høiland hides from life. It just makes things easier that way, not having to face all the fears and drama of living. He especially hides from other people, because Oskar has grown up fearing the snide remarks and the quick glances that strip him of the tiny scraps of confidence he still has left. He is just going to keep existing. Work hard to complete his medical degree and perhaps watch a few more series on Netflix in peace and quiet over Christmas.
Erik Nøst Hansen should be an almost fully-fledged adult. He should be able to sort out the mess that festers in his head and stop lying. It’s just hard. And it’s bloody terrifying to even acknowledge the thoughts that swirl around in his head at night when he can’t sleep. He also needs to figure out how to talk to the boy downstairs. The one with the golden curls and the crooked smile. The boy who is completely monopolising Erik’s messed-up heart.
A story of falling in love and being brave. A Christmas tale with a difference, set in the university dorms of central Oslo, where lies are uncovered, snowflakes are falling all over the place, and beds are made to lie in. There is a slightly unconventional family. A mess of animal onesies. Too much food and a very Merry Christmas.
Sophia Soames became one of my favorite authors based on one book alone. That would be 717 Miles, a touching, amazing, utterly human journey of love and recovery by two young men in London. Trust me, i wanted more, so much more.
Here is the story (along with the 717 Christmas short) that I have been waiting on. Sophia Soames manages to write these microcosm of humanity, in this case, two flights of dorms on a campus in Norway. Then ushers up such incredible portraits of human fragility, unknowing strength, unbelievable kindness, bravery, and , yes, the sheer being of youth…in Norway and all that entails. And she does so with characters and a narrative that takes your breath away.
In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames is full of Norwegian Christmas customs and all things bakery and sweetness. I had no idea and I absolutely wallowed in it all the while looking up those names and goodness. She folds them into a story where two young men are finding out who they are, how they can be their best selves (whatever they are), all the while helping several or one traumatized friend in their dorms manage the holiday.
Oskar Høiland and Erik Nøst Hansen are two such endearing young men, confused at times about themselves and how they appear to others. Also about their sexual appeal, and who they appeal to. It’s a lovely, natural, sexual journey for them both, without major outside angst, as this is a very accepting society, at least within this circle of people. And what a circle of people it is. From the warm, quirky, and oh please, please adopt me too family of Erik’s (yes, I wanted to be there, that’s how all embracing and incredible those scenes are), to the dormates on floors one and two, these are all characters that will sing to your heart. You, the reader, will want to know them, want to be their friends, hug on them, and follow each and every one of their paths through life, to make sure its a safe and happy one. That’s how deeply you will connect to each and everyone.
In the end, what you will also remember is the analogy that brings you back to the title. In This Bed of Snowflakes and the imagery it brings up. Of the two in love young men, lying on their backs, as the snowflakes swirl down around them, and Erik, talking about how individually snowflakes are so delicate but together, formed into a whole, they are so strong. And now I’m sniffling again.
Read this book, discover this author. Both are amazing and unforgettable. And yes, I highly recommend them both.
Cover Artist: Miriam Latu. I love this artist and this cover. Perfection and so different than the usual covers. Draws you in just as it should. Yes, that’s Oskar.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 217 pages
Published November 14th 2019
Edition Language English