Coffee with Milk
Coffee with MilkElla-Maria Nutti
An equally melancholy and shimmering literary debut about how the thinnest threads can still be the strongest of bonds
Agneta feels completely alone with the painful secret she’s carrying. The only person Agneta really wants to be with, the one person she can’t bring herself to reach out to, is her daughter, Tilda. Does she even know who her daughter is anymore? Ever since Tilda moved across the country to Stockholm, she is like a different person; she takes her coffee with milk and never has time to listen.
In the bed of a strange boy she meets at a night club, Tilda is shocked when her mother announces she will be coming for a visit over the weekend. Her mother never leaves the provincial town up north and Tilda fears another attempt to persuade her to move back home.
Agneta arrives in Stockholm with an anxious and heavy heart. Will her daughter be able to see the sickness on her: on the grey skin sagging off her skeleton, the thinning hair, the raspy cough? When and how did this impossible distance start to grow between them? And how do you tell your only daughter that you are dying of cancer?
Ella-Maria Nutti has impressed Swedish critics prior to publication with her accomplished story about Agneta, a wonderfully flawed, stubborn woman with a strong determination to live, and her daughter Tilda, who shares her stubbornness. Reminiscent of Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton with the spare, emotionally charged prose of Karin Smirnoff, the author conjures up two strong, female voices in this moving novel about the hardest things for us to say, and the hardest people to say them to, and positions herself as one of the new young Swedish literary authors to keep on your radar.
Praise for the novel:
‘It’s painfully beautiful, and a very strong debut.’
‘It has never been clearer that a certain kind of pain and a certain kind of love belong together.’
‘The acclaimed debutant… has received glowing reviews…
Debutant Ella-Maria Nutti has written a beautiful and sad story about an abyssal crack in a mother – daughter relationship. It is sincere and genuine, with a sparse language that lingers for a long time.‘
– TV4, Malous Bokklubb
‘Ella-Maria Nutti has written a forceful debut.’
– VI, Cecilia Svedhem
‘It has never been clearer that a certain kind of pain and a certain kind of love belong together. That Ella-Maria Nutti dares to stay in that ambiguity, I interpret as a promise for the future.’
– Göteborgs-Posten, Ulrika Kärnborg
‘The novel is low-key… slowly, slowly and with an endless care for details, she guides the mother and daughter towards the inexorable point where with blood smeared around the mouth, the death notice must finally be pronounced. It is desperately beautiful, and a very strong debut.”
– Barometern Plus
‘COFFEE WITH MILK is a novel in a concentrated format,
carried through in a controlled form and with strong language.’
‘It is a heartfelt and promising debut about the relationship between a mother and daughter… COFFEE WITH MILK is a novel in a concentrated format, controlled and with a strong language. ‘
Finnish: Johnny Kniga