Stella Descending : On a warm summer night in Oslo, Martin draws Stella into one of the risky games that have defined their ten years together: a balancing act on the edge of their rooftop, nine stories up. Amid the shouts of horrified onlookers, Stella stumbles, falling for a moment into Martin's arms before plummeting to her death. (Did he try to save her?) So begins Linn Ullmann's tale of Stella - jealous wife, forbearing lover, angelic nurse, unloved daughter, devoted mother, and finally, a woman possessed of a secret now forever lost to the living. As Stella's life unfolds in the recollections of those she has left behind, we observe the fabric of many lives unraveling. And as Stella herself bears witness from a place beyond death, we come to understand how precarious her life was behind its facade of loveliness and order.