Rated of 5
by SUE ELLEN To Siberia: Sweet Yet Harsh
The German occupation of Denmark and a dysfunctional family replete with mystery provide the backdrop for To Siberia. Within this harsh setting, Petterson crafts the story of a brother and sister's sweet relationship built on understanding and loyalty. As each yearns to escape the suffocating confines of home and homeland, I found myself alternately fearing for and celebrating with them. This will generate much good discussion for book clubs.
Rated of 5
by Michele A Challenging Read
As an avid historical fiction reader and reviewer, I am drawn to novels written in unique settings and time periods. Predictably, I couldn't wait to read To Siberia, by award-winning author Per Petterson, a novel about two siblings growing up in WWII Denmark and experiencing the Nazi invasion.
The novel is almost poetically written and events unfold as remembered by a 60 year-old woman. She recalls her bleak childhood growing up in a small town in northern Denmark and her special closeness to her brother, Jesper. The invasion of the Nazi's and the long-lasting ramifications of this event even after the war round out this sparse novel.
The story unfolds in snapshots; a snippet here and a snippet there. Time and place often change in the span of a single sentence. This isn't a novel you can whip through easily. It requires a quiet place, free from distractions, to follow and digest the story.
If you are looking for a quick, easy read then this probably isn't the book for you. There are no long, flowery passages and the book is free of sentiment. But if you are willing to put in the effort and pay attention to the author's words, you will be rewarded with images and observations that will stay with you a lifetime.
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