Readers of the internationally acclaimed Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle) will delight in The Wolves of Eternity, a novel translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken that spans the latter part of the 20th century and reaches into the present day. Nineteen-year-old Syvert returns home to his mother and Joar, his younger brother, after completing his military service. At loose ends, he begins to reflect on the death of his father (with whom he shares his name), who has started to appear in his and Joar's dreams. Syvert ultimately pieces together the fragments of his father's life, discovering that he was planning on leaving their family for his lover in the Soviet Union and, ultimately, that he'd fathered a child there. That child, Alevtina, a biologist, has lived her life devoid of curiosity about her biological father. Upon learning of their relationship, she and Syvert attempt to know each other and make sense of their own lives.
The narrative is shot through with the presence of death, the skirting of death, and the positing of the transcendence of death as seen through the elder Syvert's appearance in the dreams of his children and grandchildren; the obsession with anti-aging in the 21st century; and natural phenomena that seem to indicate a pause in the rhythms of death itself. The Wolves of Eternity is a marvelous and mysterious novel that will stay with readers long after Syvert and Alevtina take their leave of one another. --Elizabeth DeNoma, executive editor, DeNoma Literary Services, Seattle, Wash.