The Unseen are concerned, existence cannot be envisaged without hardship, suffering and continual struggle for survival... But every so often something arises – a particularly beautiful interplay of sky and water, the affirmative behaviour of an animal or child, or, supremely, the arrival of another being into their world – to elevate the spirits of these tough, phlegmatic folk, endowing life itself with numinous significance. This is especially true in the case of Ingrid, the commanding centre of White Shadow and the most remarkable character in The Unseen... Jacobsen’s previous work includes two devastating novels of war, Borders (1999) and The Burnt-out Town of Miracles (2005), as well as a masterpiece of strained working-class childhood, Child Wonder(2009). White Shadow impressively unites these two preoccupations. Beautifully translated, it brings home war’s departure from moral norms even as both aggressors and victims nurture expectations derived from these.