Oslo, Maine

0 out of 5

A moose walks into a rural Maine town called Oslo. Pierre Roy, a brilliant twelve-year-old, loses his memory in an accident. Three families are changed for worse and better as they grapple with trauma, marriage, ambition, and their fraught relationship with the natural world.

Meet Claude Roy, Pierre’s blustery and proud fourth-generation Maine father who cannot, or will not, acknowledge the too real and frightening fact of his son’s injury. And his wife, Celine, a once-upon-a-time traditional housewife and mother who descends into pills as a way of coping. Enter Sandra and Jim Kimbrough, musicians and recent Maine transplants who scrape together a meager living as performers while shoring up the loose ends by attempting to live off the grid. Finally, the wealthy widow from away, Edna Sibley, whose dependent adult grandson is addicted to 1980’s Family Feud episodes. Their disparate backgrounds and views on life make for, at times, uneasy neighbors. But when Sandra begins to teach Pierre the violin, forces beyond their control converge. The boy discovers that through sound he can enter a world without pain from the past nor worry for the future. He becomes a pre-adolescent existentialist and invents an unconventional method to come to terms with his memory loss, all the while attempting to protect, and then forgive, those who’ve failed him.

Oslo, Maine is a character driven novel exploring class and economic disparity. It inspects the strengths and limitations of seven average yet extraordinary people as they reckon with their considerable collective failure around Pierre’s accident. Alliances unravel. Long held secrets are exposed. And throughout, the ever-present moose is the linchpin that drives this richly drawn story, filled with heartbreak and hope, to its unexpected conclusion.


Marcia Butler has had a number of creative careers: professional musician, interior designer, documentary filmmaker, and author. As an oboist, the New York Times hailed her as a “first rate artist.” Acclaimed interior designs include projects in New York City, Boston, and Miami. After many decades in New York City, Marcia now makes her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“An engaging, wonderfully nuanced novel.” – New York Journal of Books

“For all their furtiveness, the flawed but deeply relatable characters exude an authentic sense of humanity, making this a sure-fire recommendation for Fredrik Backman fans.”– Booklist

“Butler writes beautifully and with depth, each character mined for internal gems.” – Shelf Awareness

“Butler pulls it off beautifully with a heart-rending story of small steps and big hopes.” — Central Maine Morning Sentinel

“Oslo, Maine is richly satisfying.” –Bill Roorbach

“Wildly plotted, astutely observed, and brimming with wit.”—Adrienne Brodeur

“I raced through this novel in one breathless sitting. Highly recommended!”—Karen Dionne

“The fictional, titular town hosts a complicated page-turner of a story spurred by the fallout from a young boy’s violent run-in with a moose, and though the pacing is breezy, the grappling with interpersonal and interspecies relationships is not.”– DownEast Magazine

“Marcia Butler is a master dramatist, a sorceress, and extraordinary novelist.”—E.J. Levy

“The author’s deep compassion for a different species means that you will wonder why more writers don’t choose to include all manner of beasts in their narratives.” – Literary Hub