ORIGINAL TITLE: Blodsbunden
AUTHOR: Augustin Erba-Odescalchi
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Albert Bonniers Förlag
Sweden’s mass-produced suburbs and Habsburg royalty. Augustin Erba creates unexpected connections the way only great storytellers can.
Little Amadeus’ father is an Egyptian nuclear physicist and his mother as neurotic as she is aristocratic, a direct descendant of Austro-Hungarian nobility. He grows up with one foot in a deprived suburb and the other in the posh, inner city French School, where he is brutally bullied. A double life lived between two parents, one of whom dreams of him being a mathematical genius while the other thinks of him as a temporarily exiled blue blood.
Blood Bound is a funny, tender and moving coming-of-age story that switches between two alternating narrative strands, between past and present, between childhood and adulthood. Its short, intense chapters are written with a driving rhythm that propels both plot and reading.
Amadeus coming of age is a protracted, dogged fight against his childhood demons and a tireless wrestling match with a too-dominant mother figure, a woman who seems to personify self-deception and manipulation and lives off the past glories of her highborn family. Caught in this maelstrom, Amadeus is the kind of boy who is always the best in his class, always acts responsibly, never hits back, endures everything and even arranges his father’s funeral, because his mother is taken ill with a migraine whenever life or duty calls.
Mirroring this childhood narrative is the story of grown-up Augustin, who meets the love of his life. He is conscious of his rare and wondrous happiness and strives to take responsibility for his relationship with his beloved wife and their children, to build a more stable life with room for love to grow.
Blood Bound is a story about never losing hope. With great presence, deep empathy and dark humour, Augustin Erba tackles questions of heritage, family and intimacy.