It Was Not Me is a sort of epilogue to Kjell Johansson’s trilogy “The Vulnerable,” which follows the siblings Einar and Eva from the first book, The House by the Dam (Huset vid Flon), up through their lives. It is also a stand-alone story about how the shadows of childhood are thrown far forward in life.
Eva has fallen in love with Axel, a distant relative of her father’s. With him, she is hoping to finally create the togetherness she has dreamt of all her life. She feels this is her last chance to free herself from the despair that has plagued her for so long.
Her childhood in the house by the dam has left traces, not only in her soul. There are also the files from the child welfare agency left in the archives – which Eva sends for. She wants to know the truth about what really happened all those years ago.
In It Was Not Me, Kjell Johansson describes how harsh childhood conditions can affect people in such a fundamental way, that they forever find it hard to believe that they are worthy of belonging, and of being loved.
“Although it is an epilogue, this is perhaps the foremost book in Johansson’s sequence: extremely sad, subduedly painful, deeply serious and very beautiful in its concentrated, clear style.”
“… one of the year’s best Swedish novels.”
“In contemporary Swedish literature, Kjell Johansson is uniquely able to create black and tragic magic …”