Stella Descending

by Linn Ullmann

A young woman falls from a tall building in Oslo – did she jump or was she pushed? What follows is a collection of eyewitness accounts as onlookers, friends, family and the police try to work out what happened. Each has a different perspective on Stella and her life. I was fascinated by this glimpse of dysfunctional family relationships and I felt I knew them all quite well by the end of the book.


It was a green sofa that brought them together. Stella was living alone with her daughter, Amanda. An aunt had left her some money, and with this money she decided to buy a sofa. Martin worked for an exclusive furniture store in Oslo; it was his job to deliver goods to customers' homes. That was how they met. If I had been in Stella's shoes I would have spent the money on other things - music or wine, or, had I been younger, a trip to London to try out the new Ferris wheel there, the London Eye. But Stella spent her money on a green sofa. it so ahppens that I have sat onthat sofa. it was not to my taste at all, a long hard modern piece of furniture that resembled nothing so much as a tight green female mouth.
Translated by Barbara Haveland


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