You Are the Light

It’s spring in Western Norway where Jørgen and Vibeke live with their two sons. When a new family moves in next door, the couple are immediately floored by the husband’s intoxicating charm. Steinar is a breath of fresh air in their remote village, the kind of charismatic person you always want to be around.

The two families have children in the same age and become friendly, but Jørgen is caught off guard when Steinar out of the blue invites himself on a trip to London to see football. On their trip, Steinar suddenly disappears and when he finally returns he tells an odd story of where he has been. At night, he paces their shared hotel room like a ghost.

Back home, Vibeke has a bad feeling about Steinar too. She just can’t put her finger on it. And why does his wife, Liv Merete, always keep in the shadows? When they let their youngest son accompany the neighbors on a trip to the mountains, Jørgen and Vibeke’s nagging suspicions turn into real fear. Afraid of what they might find, they search their neighbors’ house for clues. Have they sent their child into the arms of something evil? After an alarming find, Jørgen and Vibeke rush toward the cabin…

A rare feat of low-boil suspense wrapped in gorgeous language, You Are the Light is a perfectly crafted literary thriller. In this taut novel that trembles like a tight-rope, award-winning writer Tore Renberg invites the reader into a looming domestic darkness. To what lengths will we go to maintain a façade? And, in the end, how well do we know the people around us?

“A luminous journey to hell.”

“A curve ball of a story.  Recognition, turmoil and a massive wow-factor.”

You are the Light is a brilliant novel.”

“Through small sleight of hand, painstaking wording, and ambiguous scenes, Renberg tells a thriller-like story, creepingly claustrophobic and with a paranoid atmosphere. And the disaster comes. But not in the shape we were made to believe.”

“Chilling! And tears […] The reader must think for herself and is taken on a detective-like hunt for clues through memory, neighboring houses and cabins. Creepy is what it is […] A thriller full of heart.”

“Unbelievably suspenseful and deeply moving […] It’s unbearably thrilling to follow the thoughts of the parents […] Renberg is a master of characterization […] Towards the end of the novel a plot twist turns the ending into a full-blown tragedy, but not in the way you could imagine. Instead the author gives deep insight into the most difficult wanderings of the human mind.”

“Something about the style, tone, and theme makes me think this must be written in mere inspiration. As if from above[…] There is something about Jørgen’s naiveté and the underlying ghoulishness that almost squeezes the breath out of the reader. Like a crime novel where we constantly wonder what the mysterious neighbor is hiding […] Read this!”

TORE RENBERG is one of Scandinavia’s most distinguished and versatile authors with numerous literary prizes to his name. He has written several notable works of fiction. In 2016, Renberg published the novel You Are the Light (Du er så lys) which became an instant success.

Learn more about Tore Renberg