Review: ‘The Silver Road’ by Stina Jackson

‘Silvervägen’ is a Swedish novel by Stina Jackson which is translated into English by Susan Beard and titled ‘The Silver Road’. The translation is excellent and I wasn’t aware that it was one until after I finished reading it!

The silver road is where Lelle dropped his daughter—Lina, three years ago. Lina was supposed to board the bus, but she never did. And no one found her or heard from her after that. Lelle spends the nights driving down the silver road, investigating the people and properties around it, and bugging the police.

Meja, who is supposed to be as old as Lina when she disappeared, moves into the remote part of Northern Sweden where Lelle resides. She is dragged there by her mother who thinks that she has finally found the right man and that everything will work out. Meja doesn’t believe that it will turn out any different than the previous times and so she finds respite in school, a boy slightly older than her, and Lelle—her teacher at school.

I picked the book up because the premise drew me into it. But I soon realised that beneath the mystery, the story thrives via its characters. The characters and their journeys. A hurting boyfriend; a lonely father who is out for answers; a mother who is getting ready to move on; a confused teenager who wants to find herself and call someplace a home; an addicted mother who knows she has failed at everything; a conspiracy theorist who wants to protect his family against the state. Stina has given us a lot to unpack, a lot to feel—most of it grim and upsetting.

What the story could’ve done a little better was on delivering the climax. There were many red herrings throughout, but most of them were easily and quickly dismissed. My speculations as to who were/was the suspect(s) were correct in the end, but I didn’t feel particularly smart about getting them right. The final outcomes though evaded my educated guesses.

I finished the book over a bunch of sittings only because I had a lot on my plate around the time when I was reading it. Else, I figure I would’ve devoured this 344 page-long book in a maximum of two sittings. I always wanted to know what clue Lelle was onto in-between feeling like shit and what Meja was exploring (or whom was she meeting with). It is a feeling of eagerness that not many books have evoked in me, and I’m sure it’ll be the same for you.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *