Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oleanna” as Want to Read:
Oleanna
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview read excerpt

Oleanna

by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Set during the separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905, this richly detailed novel of love and loss was inspired by the life of the author's great-great-aunts.

Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family working their farm deep in the western fjordland. A new century has begun, and the world outside is changing, but in the Sunnfjord their world is as sma...more
Paperback, Second, 274 pages
Published January 23rd 2012
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oleanna, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Oleanna

Shadow on the Crown by Patricia BracewellOutlander by Diana GabaldonHer Highness, the Traitor by Susan HigginbothamVenus in Winter by Gillian BagwellThe King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin
Historical Novel Society 2013
12th out of 43 books — 68 voters
Cascade by Maryanne O'HaraThe Lady's Slipper by Deborah SwiftThieftaker by D.B. JacksonBitter Greens by Kate ForsythThe Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Best Historical Fiction Covers
13th out of 62 books — 37 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,079)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
When this book ended, I contemplated flipping back to the start in order to begin again. I absolutely didn't want to leave the characters I had come to like so much.

Set in early 20th century Norway, this novel drew me in immediately with the heartbreaking story and quiet, intense characters. Oleanna and her sister Elizabeth are left on their isolated farm in southern Norway after their brother emigrates to the U.S. Already too familiar with loss -- tragic deaths, ended engagements, the absence o...more
Karen
"Oleanna" is a book about ordinary women, living on an isolated farm in the isolated western fjordlands of Norway. Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth and Torjus, Elisabeth's young son, are the last of their family living on their old family lands. The deaths of their parents and sisters, and the loss of their brothers to the lure of the American Dream, have left the sisters restless but tied to the land and their memories. The idea of people leaving and never returning is a constant theme in the b...more
Cheryl
How important is the imprint of place on our lives? What lasting effects do seasons, topography, and nature have on our feelings of home? Who has marked our souls with love, loss, and memories that linger like ghosts, those animating spirits for good or bad that occupy our thoughts? These are some of the multi-layered themes of OLEANNA, a story of love and longing for the land.

Julie K. Rose's novel is set in Norway on the cusp of independence from Sweden after 600 years. The time is 1905. In thi...more
Melanie Spiller
I just finished reading Julie K. Rose's book "Oleanna," and I feel refreshed. The story follows a woman through loss and love, politics and poverty, and throughout it all, sets the scene quietly in Norway. I often felt as though I was reading poetry: the language was languid and lush and so very evocative. I haven't got a single Norwegian root, but I found myself wishing for them, wishing I had a farm to visit and ghosts of my own. As another reviewer mentioned, the letter from Julie's grandfath...more
Anna Graham
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny Q
This lovely little novel was my introduction to Norwegian historical fiction, and I really enjoyed it. It's a beautifully written story crafted around characters based on the authors ancestors, Oleanna and Elizabeth, two sisters left holding the pieces of their family's farm after a series of tragedies. Oleanna is the older sister, a young woman struggling to hold on to the only way of life she's ever known while the lure of the ever-widening world and the opportunities it holds draws her friend...more
The Lit Bitch
This novel caught my eye for one specific reason…..the setting. Normally, I read a lot of historic fiction that is set in England, America, or France…..but mostly England. England tends to be the favorite setting for most historical fiction novels and why not, it’s full of history!

But after a while, one can’t help but wonder what else is out there beyond the UK in the world of HF? Enter Oleanna.

I was astonished at the breathtaking use of setting! Norway sounds absolutely stunning! The flourishin...more
Tinney
This quiet, profound book explores the still depths of grief and loss, yet it ends with a sense of hope and a realization of what constitutes home. Many of my recent reads have been more like shallow rapids, so I found this book to be deeply refreshing. The protagonist is as richly realized a character as I have encountered in quite a while, and the subsidiary characters are equally individual. These are people you feel you really know by the end of the book, in all their complexity and many-fac...more
Stephanie Dagg
This is a novel of landscapes - physical, political and emotional. It has the unusual and beautiful setting of Norway, at an unsettled time in its history. The lives of Oleanna and Elisabeth are also unsettled. Their brother is shortly to leave them for America, but they must stay and look after the farm. The arrival of Anders causes further ripples in their demanding but rhythmic lives that follow the seasons. This is something I can sympathise with as a farmer. The weather and the needs of the...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
I really liked this book. It had a good story, good characters and an interesting setting. I think one of the marks of a good book is when you aren't ready to leave the characters when the book ends. I was most definitely not ready to leave Oleanna when the book ended. I wanted to see what happens to her. Is she happy? Will she ever change her mind?

Oleanna is a fabulous character. She's strong but personable and definitely the sort of character that you find yourself rooting for. While Oleanna i...more
Stephanie
Reading Oleanna was like taking a breath of fresh air. Julie has crafted a compelling story that takes place in Norway in 1905 and evokes a strong tie between a family and everyday life of the farm they work and live on. She also creates a strong sense of place and culture that blends beautifully with the story.

Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family. The remaining two brothers have left for America, leaving them behind. The farm is all the sisters really have ever known a...more
V.E. Ulett
Oleana is as insular and beautiful a novel as the Norway of the early twentieth century in which it is set. Like all good stories Oleanna is about many things, and this is a story not only of one young woman's experiences, but also of change, the consequences of our decisions, and about loss and grief. The novel tells a compelling tale that concludes in hope and the power of the place we call home. Highly recommended.
Darlene
Oleanna by Julie K. Rose is quite simply a beautifully written book. The story was inspired by the author’s great-great aunts and takes place in Norway in 1905. This novel paints such a vivid picture of life at this time in history and you feel drawn in from the very first page. You feel the hardships, love, loss, loyalty and family that flow from the pages of this book all the while feeling haunted by the shadows of ghosts past. I don’t often turn the last page of a book and want to go right ba...more
Cynthia Mcarthur
Oleanna is aptly titled, as it is the story of Oleanna. So many books proclaiming to be about one character wind up being about several secondary characters as well. Not so with this book. We are with Oleanna, we see the others through her eyes, and feel them with her emotions, but it is her story. She is coming afraid and also coming alive with every page of the story. The imagery was unbelievable. I could almost feel the cold Norwegian air, even see my breath as Oleanna and I sat around a fire...more
Kathleen

Oleanna was a book about the land and place my own grandfather came from in 1918. Sogn og Fjordane (south Fjord)and Sunnifjord have stark
and beautiful landscapes; in the early 20th century,it was the
homeland its natives were escaping in droves.

Oleanna herself attempted to follow her 2 brothers to America and decided against it even as the opportunity was available to her. The land and the life she was used to called her back. It is a beautiful story of a haunting place and the contrast betwee...more
Jacquelyn
This was a highly enjoyable read! Once I started it, I couldn't put it down! I became quite invested in these characters very quickly. At first, I wasn't sure I even liked Oleanna or her sister much, however, as the story unfolded and I learned more of their family's recent tragedies, I began to understand their motivations and struggles. The isolated setting seemed to be a character all on its own; perfectly reflecting the lives of these women. I loved the historic glimpse into life in the fjor...more
DeAnna Knippling
I didn't expect to get sucked into this story of a family in 1905 Norway, but the main character (Oleanna) is so conflicted and so well drawn that I couldn't help it. All of the characters are contradictions fighting against themselves as much as each other. The setting is gorgeous and still and isolated and strikes perfectly true. It's no Little House on the Prairie--it's far too grown-up for that--but it captures a lot of the same issues, only told from the side of the people left behind, both...more
Marie Hunter
Thank you. It was so informative. Whose family was not the same? Please write more. I can tell similar tales. I am only one generation off the farm. What you said was very wonderful. I could smell the trees, the forest, the shore. Beautifully written. Thank you.:)
Cindy
I truly loved this book. Knowing it came from Julie's heart and family only added to the depth of the characters. I've never been to Norway, yet I could easily imagine every scene--the lush descriptions brought the characters and scenery vividly to my mind. This is a well-researched and beautifully written story. Love and loss are treated as sacred, and I genuinely cared about both the characters and the nation, as it went through its own metamorphosis. Whoever said, "when love and talent come t...more
Michelle Myklebust
I was unable to put this book down. It is a fantastic read!!
Heather
This was a book I had won in a Goodreads giveaway and I did enjoy it. There was some slow parts, and the ending was kind of predictable. What I enjoyed was the development of the characters. The author really took the time to establish their personalities, so the reader wants to keep reading even though he/she knows what is coming. The pain they felt was very real, and the author made the emotions raw and tangible. It was a moving story, and definitely worth the read.
Michael Selvin
A quiet romance between a stubborn, prideful woman and an equally taciturn man, both haunted by ghosts of the past. The novel makes a remarkable effort to reflect the climate and landscape of the Norwegian lakes and fjords in the texture of the story and movement of the novel. The novel never takes the reader far from the difficult life of an isolated farmer, attempting to rationalize living removed from the pressures of the dawning 20th century.
Heather Domin
On the cover of this book I'm quoted with the following: "Rose brings a time of historic change to life through passionate characters and lush prose. Oleanna is a true labor of love." I stand by that. I'm all about good description and interesting characters, but more than anything I love to see a story that is clearly a product of the author's deep love for a place and time. Oleanna is definitely one of those stories.
Kathryn
* This is an advanced read. I won this book as part of a giveaway on Goodreads.com.**

This is the story of Oleanna Tollefsdatter Myklebost, during the early days of the Norway's split from Sweden. The story is set in 1905 in Norway. Oleanna and her sister, Elisabeth, are running their family farm with their brother, John, in the aftermass of death in her family. Her father had died when Oleanna was young and her mother, despondent and unhappy with her life, took her youngest daughter into a rowbo...more
Nae
I know very little about Norway, and it started out kind of slow, but my goodness, parts of this book absolutely took my breath away. The writing is marvelous, the characters just complicated enough to keep you wondering, and the descriptions of the mountains, the small cities in the early 1900s were simply riveting.
Shane Cormier
Won this book just now. Looking forward to reading it. And unlike others on here, Im not going to put a book down because of my ignorance of its history. If you dont know anything about the history then go look it up. I mean you cant expect the author to spell everything out for you, then it would be a textbook or encyclopedia and not a novel. People complain about some of the DUMBEST things if you ask me. And for the person who said "not the read I wanted" THEN DONT SIGN UP TO WIN THE BOOK IF I...more
Indiebrag
We are proud to announce that this book has been honored with a 2012 B.R.A.G.Medallion - telling you that this book is well worth your time and money!
Serena
I received this book through the First Reads program, directly from the author. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book!

My feelings about this book are mixed. I spent half the book feeling irritated by Oleanna and her refusal to leave her farm, until I realized she kind of reminded me of myself. She wouldn't leave at the potential expense of losing her true love. I can relate somewhat to that. My true love compromised with me and we stayed within 175 miles of my family, but it...more
Robin
To quote a very close friend I am a reader not a writer...
Oleana was a fairly quick read, but not with out some fortitude to push through the beginning...
At the start I was trying to fall into the geographical location on the side of a mountain in Norway.
I found my own lack of knowledge left me totally lost as to the political climate, local nationality and jargon.
I stumble through the mountain with the lead character.
I didn't really feel like I understood her until we venture away from home. A...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Gilded Lily
  • Mistress of the Sea
  • Written in the Ashes
  • The Raven's Heart
  • Eromenos
  • Becoming Josephine
  • The Soldier of Raetia (Valerian's Legion, #1)
  • Romancing Olive
  • The Turning of Anne Merrick
  • The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter, #3)
  • The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte
  • The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr (Ladies in Waiting #2)
  • Where the Dog Star Never Glows
  • Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart
  • The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora
  • Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play (A Jazz Age Mystery #1)
  • Orphan of the Olive Tree
  • Cascade
4475232
Julie K. Rose is the author of Oleanna and The Pilgrim Glass, historical novels featuring complicated, compelling characters seeking to overcome their pasts—and themselves. Her stories evoke a vivid sense of time and place through a keen ear for dialog and beautifully elegant prose.

A member of the Historical Novel Society and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review, Julie earned a B.A. i...more
More about Julie K. Rose...
The Pilgrim Glass

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »