This 1996 novel predates Pettersen's acclaimed Out Stealing Horses(first published in 2003), and has all of Pettersen's haunted charms. As an unnamed young girl and her big brother, Jesper (who calls her "Sistermine"), grow up in rural WWII-era Denmark, the two cope with distant parents, an eccentric extended family and the cold wind. Jesper longs to go south to Morocco; Sistermine yearns for the plains of Siberia, foreshadowing lives that will diverge. Their grandfather's suicide, the arrival of puberty and most tragically, the German invasion change their idyllic childhood relationship; as each sibling fights back against the occupation in his or her own way, their inevitable separation looms. The second half of the novel, in which Sistermine struggles to make sense of her life in various Scandinavian cities and towns, awaiting a hoped-for reunion with Jesper, is less breathtaking and mesmerizing than the first, but the contrast makes her numb loneliness and inability to connect all the more poignant. The book builds up slowly, casting a spell of beauty and devastation that matches the bleak but dazzling climate that enshrouds Sistermine's young life. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
To Siberiaby Per Petterson
In the bitter cold of Danish Jutland, where the sea freezes over and the Nazis have yet to invade, a young girl dreams of going on a great journey to Siberia, while her brother Jesper yearns for the warmer climes of Morocco. Given a staunchly Christian mother who composes and sings hymns all day, a father who is too philanthropic a joiner to be successful, and a… See more details below
In the bitter cold of Danish Jutland, where the sea freezes over and the Nazis have yet to invade, a young girl dreams of going on a great journey to Siberia, while her brother Jesper yearns for the warmer climes of Morocco. Given a staunchly Christian mother who composes and sings hymns all day, a father who is too philanthropic a joiner to be successful, and a grandfather who takes his life in a cowshed, the relationship between brother and sister flourishes. Jesper has an originality that stands out in the small community, and his sister follows in his wake as they wend their way around the town in moonlit and daytime endeavours. As the narrator looks back she reflects on the harsh realities of their existence and the consequences of their choices. It is out of small and negligible things that a life may be composed, and the beauty of Petterson's narrative lies in the resonances of one which is outwardly barren but so sharply etched, so charged with meaning.
- Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.91(w) x 7.68(h) x 1.08(d)
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