Mathea Martinsen has never been good at dealing with other people. After a lifetime, her only real accomplishment is her longevity: everyone she reads about in the obituaries has died younger than she is now. Afraid that her life will be over before anyone knows that she lived, Mathea digs out her old wedding dress, bakes some sweet cakes, and heads out into the world—to make her mark. She buries a time capsule out in the yard. (It gets dug up to make room for a flagpole.) She wears her late husband’s watch and hopes people will ask her for the time. (They never do.) Is it really possible for a woman to disappear so completely that the world won’t notice her passing? The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am is a macabre twist on the notion that life “must be lived to the fullest.”
Translated from Norwegian by Kerri A. Pierce
This was a beautifully written book dealing with extreme depression and suicidal thoughts.
Mathea is alone. Not only is she alone, she is incredibly lonely. She has been depressed for most of her life. Has no immediate family. No real friends to speak of, and she is a widow. So she decides to remedy the situation by trying to make a mark on the world. She creates a time capsule – that gets dug up. She tries to speak to people by ringin up directory enquiries to ask for her own phone number. She just keeps on feeling smaller and smaller.
I really don’t want to say too much more about what happens, because I feel as though it should be experienced. What I can say is I have never read such sadness expressed so beautifully. The ending was stunning, with Mathea finally finding peace with herself.
This is definitely not a happy book. Every page is about depression or negative feelings. So please be aware of that going into it. BUT I do highly recommend it. It was beautiful.
Finished on June 5th 2017
You can buy the book here if you wish