Anne Cathrine Bomann

A novel about friendship, family and the fear of change – and about the octopus that puts everything into perspective.

Vigga has always felt as though there’s a glass wall between her and the life that people around her are living. Try as she might, she can’t get to the other side – only with her best friend, Maiken, does the wall come down. But when Maiken becomes pregnant, she slowly but surely begins to withdraw from their relationship.

As Maiken’s belly grows, Vigga is assigned a work placement at Denmark’s largest aquarium. There she’s expecting to go through her usual antisocial routine: show up, eat lunch alone, go back home without having spoken to a single person. Six months, then on to the next placement. But when she meets Rosa, an octopus, things begin to shift for Vigga.

260 pages


Denmark: Lindhardt & Ringhof
Germany: hanserblau


“For all readers of good novels. […] a novel with a universal theme and novel with, psychologically nuanced character portraits. […] A captivating read on multiple fronts.”
The National Library Service / DK

“I want it for myself, not to put words on it that might risk changing it, making it more or less of everything, but just to tuck it away in a private corner of my reading heart and let it dwell there. I don’t want to read reviews, hear others’ opinions and interpretations. I don’t even know myself entirely what my own interpretation is; I just know that Vigga, the octopus Rosa, and the others fill me enormously right now, and that this was one of those very special reading experiences that deeply touched me. There is so much vulnerability, quirkiness, love, loneliness, insecurity, fear, insight, and perspective hidden in the pages, magically wrapped in a language that almost hypnotizes me. I read the book slowly, and I’m glad I did. Not that it’s difficult to read, because it’s not, but it just lasted a bit longer. In case anyone is in doubt, I am completely captivated by The Aquarium, and if I could exceed my own scale of five hearts, I would. Five hearts.”
Bøgerne i mit liv / DK

“Anne Cathrine Bomann does it again! In 2022, her Blue Notes were one of my absolute best reading experiences; Agathe is also fantastic, and now The Aquarium! It’s impressive. Anne Cathrine simply knows how to write about people. She has a great professional knowledge about humans due to her education as a psychologist, but she also manages to encapsulate it in a story that captivates us readers. The Aquarium is a character-driven book that drew me in completely, for I was very absorbed in how things would go for Vigga at the aquarium, how her friendship with Rosa would develop, and of course, also the friendship with Maiken. In the encounter with Rosa, Vigga gets to put life into perspective in a way she understands and can thus transfer to her own life. It’s an incredibly exciting process to follow. I can only say: READ IT! You won’t regret it. Five stars.”
Litteraturhesten / DK

“I just finished The Aquarium, and Anne Cathrine Bomann does it again! It is so beautiful and incredibly delicate. […] Bomann writes so that all our small, human ways of seeing the world become clear and recognizable. She writes in a way that goes straight to the heart. The Aquarium is an excellent reading experience that sets thoughts and emotions in motion. Five stars.”
Bogforsker / DK

“There is a really nice atmosphere, slowness, and calmness about The Aquarium, which I love. And I really love Vigga, even though, as Maiken says, she is troublesome. The Aquarium is a great novel about friendship, family, and love. About feeling wrong and having difficulty believing in happiness and joy when it appears”
Anette Øster / DK

“The book touches on themes such as friendship and family, and we get up close with the introverted and socially awkward Vigga, whom one cannot help but love. Once again in this book, it is evident that the author is a psychologist and very adept at describing very human thoughts, emotions, and actions. I was incredibly moved several times throughout the book. And then you learn a lot about octopuses, which was surprisingly interesting. Five out of six hearts.”
Lets read / DK

“I was immensely touched by the book. The scientific facts about an octopus life are wrapped in psychology and human relationships. It is so thorough and poignant. Five hearts”
Anettes Litteratursalon / DK

“One of my favorite authors, Anne Cathrine Bomann, has with this all-around great novel described both a life situation I don’t know and reactions I know all too well! I love the little octopus and the complex yet simple narrative.”
Bine Herold (Author) / DK

“I am a true fan of Anne Cathrine Bomann’s writing, which offers delicate and touching stories. I devoured The Aquarium in 1.5 hours due to the fine and readable language and a desire to find out how Vigga’s story unfolds. I get a lot of Remarkably Bright Creatures vibes in The Aquarium, so I can highly recommend it. But be prepared to be moved. 5/6 stars.”
Bogbanden / DK

“So beautiful and well-written, a huge recommendation”
Cecilie Kondrup (author) / DK

“Anne Cathrine Bomann has a talent for shaping characters so that you can feel them deep under your skin! Regardless of whether you like the story itself or not, the characters carry it beautifully on their own. I almost believe Anne Cathrine can write about anything, and it still ends up fantastic. The same happens in The Aquarium. I’m a sucker for stories about quirky individuals who struggle and end up blooming and coming out stronger on the other side. Such a wonderful book!”
S.issel / DK

“Five stars for being a true gem with linguistic mastery and top-notch character work. […] The book hits right in the heart, and it does so for several reasons. The book has exactly the number of characters it requires because they are so precise and purposeful. Bomann doesn’t just write about people. She paints them, gives them so much life that they almost feel alive, and it made me feel all of Vigga’s emotions along the way. Outstanding. Above all, it exudes linguistic mastery with the most beautiful sentences that balance perfectly between the banality of classic fiction and the poetry that makes it art. In other words: Perfect for the reader who appreciates beautiful language but is not into elitist poetry. The Aquarium is an example in the series of Bomann books that shows what a formidable writer she is.”
Bogfeber / DK

“I can only join the chorus of positive reviews of this book. It is WONDERFUL! The Aquarium is a wise novel with nerve that hits the mark. I don’t know if it’s Anne Cathrine Bomann’s background as a psychologist that plays a role, but she can do something truly special with writing human and relevant characters. Throughout the novel, you alternately feel like shaking Vigga in frustration and pulling her into a hug. The novel is a clear candidate to be one of the best reading experiences of the year.”
Torndahlbooks / DK

“Anne Cathrine Bomann writes lightly and airy about something incredibly difficult. When friendships change because of love and an upcoming baby moving in and shifting the focus in the relationship. I hope The Aquarium gets many readers because it’s really good.”
Bogsulten / DK

The Aquarium is a beautiful and captivating story about life’s fundamental challenges. How do you find your place in a society that has plenty of expectations about how life should be lived? Bomann describes in the best possible way how this can feel particularly difficult when you feel furthest away from those you should be closest to. Bomann once again hits the nail on the head and manages to deliver a story where the pages almost turn themselves. And if there’s any doubt about what Bomann does best, The Aquarium is just another example of this: writing about people. The starting point of the story in friendships, relationships, family, and life’s challenges helps to give a special nerve, which I rarely experience. 6 stars.”
Bag om bøger / DK

The Aquarium is a beautiful and touching story about friendship and change. Anne Cathrine Bomann is a master at creating atmospheres between people in transition, as we also saw in the beautiful debut novel Agathe. Both novels hereby receive a big recommendation from me.
5 stars out of 5.”
Det bare bøger / DK

“I simply love this melancholic, atmospheric, and wise book about Vigga, who struggles in relationships but finds an odd and deep kinship with Rosa.”
Ordnanist / DK

“A very fine and touching novel, it brought tears to my eyes, a knot in my stomach, and a smile to my lips. Hurry to the bookstore or library, I promise you, this book will go straight to your heart.”
Bogen på bordet / DK

The Aquarium is a surprisingly touching and vulnerable novel about friendship and relationships, and about the tensions that arise when life takes new turns. As a reader, you are captured, as if it were Rosa’s arms, in a story you don’t want to leave. The language flows easily, and you are fascinated by the depictions of relationships – ­not only between Vigga and Maiken, but most of all between Vigga and Rosa. Because, I must admit, what stays with me the most after finishing reading is the octopus Rosa. Honestly, you become obsessed with her during the reading.
So, read this book, but be prepared to crave something as special as information about octopuses!”
Litteratouren / DK

“Anne Cathrine Bomann is back with a wise and vulnerable tale of finding home, even though it turns out to be a different type of home than one expected.
A wise and nuanced novel with both humor and warmth, which, like Bomann’s previous books, has something meaningful to say. Well-written and well-composed, the author tells a story that is recognizable to many of us.”
Litteratursiden / DK

“Anne Cathrine Bomann writes in a way that sends shivers down your arms, and she does it in her own unique way without grand gestures, but with an insight into the human mind that leaves the reader astonished and wiser after the last page is turned.
A quiet book with a string of beautiful expressions about life. As a reader, I was moved by Vigga’s story. It is brutally honest and harsh at the same time. A very warm recommendation from me. 5 stars.”
Fantastiske familiebøger / DK

“Anne Cathrine Bomann’s The Aquarium is a novel about not really fitting in. About wanting to hold on to the life that is, but having to face the changes.
The Aquarium
is a whimsical tale. It’s not often you read a novel where an eight-armed octopus plays a part. And especially one that seems to have a personality. But Rosa has an important role, something that reflects Anne Cathrine Bomann authorship: The ability to write characters that feel authentic. Apparently, even when they are octopuses.
Vigga’s thoughts and feelings are so recognizable. At the same time, it’s also easy to put oneself in the shoes of the other characters and follow them when Vigga perhaps occasionally loses her way. Or, retreats into herself. The main character is described with an understanding and insight, even though sometimes you might feel like shaking her. The story is lively, the language is well-written. Just like the author’s previous novels. Highly recommended.”
Julie the Bookcat / DK

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