Review for "Welcome to America" by Linda Bostrom Knausgard (2019) Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
“Welcome to America” is a short book with a whole lot going on. The dialogue is minimal, and the reader is always in the headspace of Ellen, a young girl who has stopped talking in the wake of her father’s death. Certain that she has ‘killed’ him by praying for him to die, it is clear that Ellen is in the middle of a serious trauma about which the rest of her family is unaware.
Through flashbacks, it is revealed that shortly before Ellen’s father’s death he had been institutionalized and may or may not have tried to kill his family with a gas leak. Her brother nails his bedroom door shut and becomes angry and abusive. Ellen’s mother, an actress, continually insists that they are “a family of light” is emotionally absent and a narcissist.
There is not so much the focus of a plot line here. Instead, this is a stream-of-conscious window into Ellen’s life at this time period as she muses a lot about death and dying.
This is a decent read, I’ll give this four stars.