Author: Per Petterson
The book takes place in the country: YES
The author is from the country:NO
I have been: NO
This is my 24th book for the year. I finished it today!
I have Norway on my short list. Just like just about every other country. Norway is easily accessed to us here in Switzerland, so I am hoping we get to at least Oslo before we move back to the states.
This is the story of a man named Trond Sanders. It is the year 1999 and he is 67 years old and has bought a cabin in Norway that he is going to fix up and spend the rest of his life in. He has moved in late in the season, and is worried about getting the cabin ready before Norway winter really sets in. As he gets things ready, he runs into a man that was part of his distance past, and it brings up a lot of memories of the last time he was at this lake.
The book travels back and forth between 1999 and 1948 when Trond was 15 years old and at this very lake for the summer. It is just he and his dad. His dad was there thinking he could make some money doing logging. Trond meets a young boy his age named Jon who talks Trond into "Stealing" horses from neighboring farms. The boys don't actually steal them, just ride them and return them, but the idea is thrilling to the young boys.
A tragedy during that summer leaves two families torn apart, for very different reasons. Trond learns things about his father he wished he never knew. Jon has to live with what he has done.
The book delves into relationships of fathers and son, best friends of youth, and how things can come full circle. There are some things from your past you cannot escape no matter how hard you try.
The last line in the book was the best of all: "We decide for ourselves when it will hurt".
It was an excellent novel. It is beautifully written and I could picture the harsh Norway countryside as I read. The story takes so many twists and turns, all revolving around the pain we feel for things that happen in our past and how we chose to deal with them and face them in the future. I encourage you to read this short novel for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Stars: 4 1/2