Trond Sander has moved to a remote location in Norway. Far from city life and surrounded by nature he finds it easy to think of his youth and pulls the reader along with him. I grew up in a house that was nestled in the woods. The trees served as a playground and a safety net during my childhood. Even now when I am nearly twenty-five I’ll find myself craving the solitude of the woods if I find I’m stressed. I can relate myself to Trond in this way, with his desire to return to a place of quiet comfort. The description of the forest, the lake, the rain could be seen as just pretty writing. Maybe to some it is, at least. But I read it as the insight of someone who is familiar with nature and has a special tie to it. This isn’t just descriptions penned for detail. It’s the breath of summer air and that musky woody scent found amongst cool trees.
I gathered that much of the novel was Trond’s memories to his last significant summer with his father. The summer in which everything that was normal no longer mattered. But I discovered that… I didn’t really care all that much. The descriptions of nature, the moments alone with his father, yeah they gained my attention. But otherwise I was just like, well, ‘eh’. I’ve heard many good things about this book and expected it would leave me breathless and starry-eyed. However, I only pushed along and wanted to finish it so I could begin reading something else. When the book was done I didn’t find myself lingering over the memories. I didn’t find myself disliking what I had read either. It was simply just a book I had spent some time with. So for that I was disappointed. For someone who is nostalgic or loves the woods maybe you would find meaning in this book but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise, and for that I am sad. I wanted to love this book but I was only left feeling disappointed.
I wanted to like this book. I really wanted to like this book. But it just fell short.