Håkan Östlundh

To Sara, Burn After Reading!


Sara Kvist is on the way back to her self-imposed exile in Los Angeles after having buried her mother in Stockholm. A mother she had not seen in twenty-five years. In her hand luggage, she has a package labeled: To Sara, Burn after Reading!
     The package includes the notebooks her mother left behind, and they raise sore memories. Memories of something that began as a divorce in the early seventies, a time of freedom. But which ended in a mismatch of shattering events that changed the lives of everyone involved. How could Sarah’s mother, who was such a loving and caring person, be driven to the rim of madness? How could she sacrifice her own children in order to take revenge on the man she loved above all else?
     Except to confront the painful events in childhood, which Sara for long has done everything to forget, she is also forced to examine her own choices in through adulthood. What is it really that has driven her to go behind her husband Johan’s back and thereby risking their seven-year old relationship? Has she done it out of love and necessity, or is it other dark and destructive forces that have led her astray?

”An unsentimental and gripping story about parental betrayal and destructive relationships.”
    Malin Persson-Giolito, amelia

”To Sara, Burn After Reading! is a relationship novel in several dimensions. Between children and parents on one hand, and on the other between partners in a love relationship. Österlundh succeeds in switching between two women as first-person narrators, Sara and her mother, that skilfully play out a drama in several acts. At the same time he perfectly depicts a 1970’s that has escaped and the beginning of the 21st century that we recently left behind.”
    Östra Småland



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