Karensminde won THE BLIXEN LITERARY AWARD 2017. Motivation here.

“Karen’s Place has some of the best depictions of adult children’s’ relationship with their parents that I’ve read in a long time, whether it’s through Hilde’s need not to commit, through Knut’s need for control or through Björk, the only one who can’t see that she’s never really grown up.” (Information)? “Rarely is a family’s internal dynamic described so well through its individuals. In Karen’s Place […] Iben Mondrup portrays people embedded in nature and in the family with delicate sensibility. The novel explores family ties, both comfortable and constricting, with empathy and sensitivity, but without sentimentality. It sensually depicts how we are interwoven with our immediate surroundings, whether it be with humans or the landscape.”


“This is how fantastic literature is written. It is the youngest daughter Björk’s point of view and consciousness that fills most in the novel, although it clearly is the least strong-willed. Most of the time her point of view merely vegetates, following at the heels of her flighty parents and her siblings. But, as demonstrated, this does not diminish the electricity in the language, on the contrary. And not because Mondrup doesn’t also master the rough, surging action, which bursts out on the water’s edge as well as the in the maternity ward. […] The beauty of this family portrait is that it is not hefty or moralizing, but instead sensual and musical; the characters sense, they feel, they cling to one another while pushing each other away. […] There are all sorts of issues spinning in the air, above all the parents’ long absence in Greenland, which they solve by imposing their presence, especially on the grandchildren (has irritation with grandchildren even been portrayed so precisely, or even at all?), but all this is not bluntly spelled out, it simply whirls to the surface.”


“GHOSTS OF THE PAST. Iben Mondrup has written a melancholic and powerful sequel to her award-winning novel Godhavn. A wonderfully well-written, modern family tale. […] Put together, the books come across as an alternative family chronicle of modern life. The family is under psychological reconstruction. Perhaps it has been all along, but now it is clearly so, now when the main characters have to try to adapt themselves to the new family constellations and the aging roles within it. The once extroverted busybody Björk has become sensitive and self-seeking, the introverted and vulnerable Knut has taken on the role of dominant family head while the father's darling, Hilde, has withdrawn from the family, living an independent life as a loner, sleeping in her car and studying something nobody really understands. […] The parents, on the one hand, are sufficient in their own company, but they also want to feel like a family. They no longer appear strong and controlling, but fumbling and more or less intractable, and well, human. [...] In a polyphony of five voices, Iben Mondrup deftly orchestrates each of the family members' changing voices, which melodically meander in and out between each other and back and forth in time and place. Karen’s Place is a rhythmic calm; it is a powerfully melancholic choir song in literary form. And it's even wrapped up in an alluring and beautiful cover, featuring a corn-yellow landscape and naked trees set against an autumnal horizon. Behind this hide field mice, man, and a small masterpiece.”



“Karen’s Place has some of the best depictions of adult children’s’ relationship with their parents that I’ve read in a long time.’’

– Information

“Rarely is a family’s internal dynamic described so well through its individuals.”

– Politiken *****

“This is how fantastic literature is written.”

– Weekendavisen

“A wonderfully well-written, modern family tale..”

– Berlingske *****