A Child in the Dark, and a Foreign Father Summary

A Child in the Dark, and a Foreign Father Summary

The story opens on New Year’s Eve, when Nils, a poor carpenter, arrives home late at night. As he walks in, he notices that the hut is a complete mess and many household chores remained undone. In the dark he comes across his eldest son, who tells Nils he should stay and sleep on the sofa, because the mother, Emma, is ‘bad again in the head’. Little Nils, also called sonny by his father, admits he tried to take care of the chores but he could not finish the work because he fall ill. When Emma wakes up, she and Nils get into a fight. She feels unappreciated and misunderstood and accuses her husband of uselessness. Afterwards she remains in the bed, while Nils goes of to take care of the rest of the household, the sick son and even the whining Emma. On the New Year’s Day Nils wakes up at four o’clock in the morning, prepares breakfast for everyone, and leaves for work. When Emma finds out her husband is already gone she feels relieved. She asks her sons to bring her copy of the Australian Journal and take care of the baby. ‘And so the New Year began.’

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