Nominated for the Booksellers’ Prize 2022
Mathilde is forced to leave her teaching position in Oslo when the relationship with her eighteen-year-old student Jacob is exposed.
Meanwhile, in the countryside in Telemark, Johs runs a large and modern dairy farm together with his brother Andres. Johs also plays the Norwegian eight string fiddle, where four strings are strung and played like a violin, while the rest, named understrings, resonate under the influence of the other four. Every fiddle tune is accompanied by a folk tale, and many of them are about women’s rebellion or disobedience – and thei subsequent unhappy fate.
When Johs and Andres agree on renting out one of the idyllic old houses in the outskirts of the farm, Mathilde decides to leave the city, for what she believes is a more authentic life on the country. But underneath the friendly and pastoral surface on the farm, darker and less harmonic tones vibrate, and with Mathilde’s strong presence, cracks start appearing.