The loving but difficult marriage between Siri and Jon is challenged during a summer visit on the coast of Norway by the disappearance of their nanny and the wrenching feelings of guilt suffered by everyone associated with her.
One of the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2014!Ullmann’s characters are complex and paradoxical: neither fully guilty nor fully innocent Siri Brodal, a chef and restaurant owner, is married to Jon Dreyer, a famous novelist plagued by writer’s block. Siri and Jon have two daughters, and together they spend their summers on the coast of Norway, in a mansion belonging to Jenny Brodal, Siri’s stylish and unforgiving mother. Siri and Jon’s marriage is loving but difficult, and troubled by painful secrets. They have a strained relationship with their elder daughter, Alma, who struggles to find her place in the family constellation. When Milla is hired as a nanny to allow Siri to work her long hours at the restaurant and Jon to supposedly meet the deadline on his book, life in the idyllic summer community takes a dire turn. One rainy July night, Milla disappears without a trace. After her remains are discovered and a suspect is identified, everyone who had any connection with her feels implicated in her tragedy and haunted by what they could have done to prevent it. The Cold Song is a story about telling stories and about how life is continually invented and reinvented.