A struggling woman realizes that even small lives have meaning in Vigdis Hjorth’s novel Long Live the Post Horn!
The discovery of her old diary and a coworker’s suicide make Ellinor realize how stagnant her life is. She feels like a pretender, adrift among the monotony and futility of ordinary existence and sick to death of it. While muddling through another work assignment, convinced it is yet another meaningless task in a meaningless career, Ellinor finds herself connecting with others in ways that she never dreamed of.
Although the writing style—long sentences filled with Ellinor’s innermost musings—never changes, its implications shift with Ellinor’s moods. In the beginning, it has a moody, dissociative quality. Her depression is palpable, even infectious. But as she emerges from her ennui, her rambling sentences become excited and eager, sharing her newfound engagement with the world. She takes pleasure in ordinary things that she once dismissed as worthless and trite. The world has not changed, but Ellinor has.
Ellinor discovers the value of her own—and other people’s—existence not through grand adventures or a single epiphany, but through a hard-won change in perspective. She and her journey are all the more relatable for it. Ellinor’s fresh outlook doesn’t solve everything, and some people are determined to stay in their ruts no matter what. But her newfound creativity and conviction carry her through even the dullest of moments, until she is able to meet with those willing to understand her passions. Watching Ellinor’s numbness melt away, leaving her a better, more whole person, is a joyous and unforgettable experience.
The ordinary becomes vibrant and life affirming in Long Live the Post Horn!, an engrossing novel about how even hopeless battles are worth fighting.
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