Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Counting in Danish

Counting in Danish by Celia Berggreen
5/28/24; 360 pages
Cranthorpe Millner Publishers

Counting in Danish by Celia Berggreen is a highly recommended coming-of-age story following a grieving, surviving twin on a journey.

Twins Jess and Sophie have always known that their father, Mike, isn't their biological father. Their mother, Laura, told them that their father Per Jacobsen was from Denmark and left before they were born. Jess and Sophie were planning to travel to Denmark and find him. Now Sophie, the more confident of the two, is dead and the whole family is deeply grieving. Jess, who frequently counts to ground herself and fight off panic attacks, is seeing and talking to Sophie. She needs to make the trip to Denmark in her sister's memory to overcome her fears and hopefully find closure.

The writing is very good and does an excellent job capturing the emotional impact that a death and withheld secrets can have on a family. The only character that is really explored in any depth is Jess, and she can be an enigma because of a secret she holds that is eventually revealed. Traveling to Denmark marks an accomplishment, especially as Jess undertakes it without Sophie, that will eventually bring emotional closure for her and the whole family.

The story behind the publication of Counting in Danish is as much an emotional journey and love story as the novel itself. Sadly, author Celia Berggreen lost her battle with cancer before publication. Her Danish husband Kristian Berggreen made it his mission to see the novel through publication and fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Thanks to Cranthorpe Millner Publishers for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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