In the first of Mr. Kennedy’s Copenhagen Quartet (the second book, “Falling Sideways,” is due this year) we meet Bernardo (known as Nardo), a victim of a repressive South American regime who has immigrated to Denmark. Dr. Kristensen tries to walk him away from his horrific life and into the light of the world. Beautiful, full-hearted Michela battles the effects of her frightening past, as her current boorish boyfriend threatens to perpetuate them. Each narrative is gripping in its own right; get ready for a grand reward when they merge.
The tremendous degree to which these characters engage us testifies to Mr. Kennedy’s unsurpassed skill in rendering human thought and emotion. The reward of the denouement gives this excellent, touching novel its parting chord, the final concordant arpeggio, which you will take away and savor. I congratulate Mr. Kennedy, and anxiously await my chance at the next Copenhagen Quartet number.