By Jenny Jagerfeld, Translated by Susan Beard
Stockholm Text, $14.95, 280 pages
Maja represents every girl who has ever felt like the odd one out at school and in society. Me on the Floor, Bleeding is a Swedish novel about a normal girl from a divorced family, who has a mom with some mental issues. You won’t find any elaborate plots, weird scandals, or magic and vampires here. Instead, Jenny Jagerfeld delivers what more closely resembles the reality we live in. Maja isn’t beautiful, she’s clumsy, and she’s not a good student. When she accidentally saws off her thumb in shop class, rumors start flying that she is suicidal. She isn’t, of course, but rumors spread quickly at any high school. When Maja shows up at her mom’s house for her weekend she finds her mother is missing, so she uses this time to explore herself while trying to look for her mom.
“This is Maja, your daughter. It is Friday and I am here in Norrkoping. It is my weekend. Or your weekend, depending on how you look at it. Our weekend. Do you remember? Ring me, I have sawn off my thumb and I need a mother’s tender, loving care.”
If you only read one more book this year, this should be the one. It will take a while to recover from, and is definitely one you’ll never forget.
Reviewed by Janessa Heimbuch