A novel of love, friendship, and self-reinvention: “I can’t remember the last time I was so enchanted . . . zany, surprising, full of twists and turns” (Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and Something Blue).
A translator of Icelandic, the unnamed young woman who narrates Butterflies in November is perhaps more at home in the world of language than the actual world. After a day of being dumped—twice—and accidentally killing a goose, she yearns to escape from the chaos of her life. Instead, her best friend’s four-year-old deaf-mute son is unexpectedly left in her care. But when the boy chooses the winning numbers for a lottery ticket, the two set off from Reykjavik along Iceland’s Ring Road on a journey of discovery.
Along the way, they encounter black sand beaches, cucumber farms, lava fields, flocks of sheep, an Estonian choir, a falconer, a hitchhiker, and both of her exes desperate for another chance. What begins as a spontaneous adventure will unexpectedly and profoundly change the way she views her past and charts her future.
Longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.</