The Wingmaker by Mette Jakobsen

To be published 3/8/2021.

‘The abandoned hotel comes into view. Derelict, windswept.’

Vega has an ambitious restoration project, and her father Vince has offered her the use of a hotel he has bought. It has plenty of space and will be quiet, which is what Vega needs as she is still recovering from a heart operation. But when she arrives at the abandoned ‘Seafarers’ Hotel’, she finds that she’s not the only resident. The hotel may be abandoned, but it is not totally uninhabited. One of the rooms is occupied by Gunnar, a handyman with some issues of his own, who is apparently undertaking some restoration work, there are canaries in the chandeliers, and occasionally a group of locals use the ballroom for dancing. Vega despairs of finding the peace and quiet she craves, and of making sense of the pieces of marble which constitute the angel’s broken wings.

Rebuilding the angel’s wings is a painstakingly slow process, and Vega makes little headway at first. But as she gradually lets down some of the barriers she has erected, some things become clearer and easier to deal with. Some relationships need to be nurtured; others need to be re-examined. 

And slowly, as the angel is restored, Vega rebuilds her life.

‘It feels as if I’ve spent my whole life letting the tiniest things come between me and other people.’

I enjoyed the quiet contemplative nature of this novel: about love and loss and moving forward.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Text Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith