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The Seventh Child

2.97  ·  Rating Details ·  2,487 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
Winner of the 2012 Glass Key Award given by the members of the Crime Writers of Scandinavia

All the best homes are by the water, or so the matron of Kongslund Orphanage tells her small charges. But at this particular house by the sea, not all is as it appears.

On September 11, 2001, on a desolate beach on the outskirts of Copenhagen, police begin investigating the strange de
Kindle Edition, 642 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by AmazonCrossing (first published 2011)
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Mar 27, 2014 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

Dear God in heaven, I thought I would never finish this book. My copy is an electronic ARC and doesn't have page numbers, therefore I must estimate, and my low guess is that this book was 38,719 pages long. And that was 38,532 pages too many. What I did have was the Kindle % of book left and I got depressed each day when I saw how much I had left. It was that bad. It was all too much - too many characters, too many (often pointless) stories and just way too many words.

The book i
3.5 stars

If you browse through reviews for this novel, you'll see they run the gamut. I think it's because this is a polarizing book, not popular fiction for the masses. It will appeal to fans of slow, introspective & thoughtful reads. And you'll have to be someone who enjoys a tome you can tuck into. At over 700 pages, this is not a beach book.
Set in Copenhagen, it chronicles the lives of 7 children from their births to middle age. They ended up in an orphanage within days of being born in
Darcia Helle
As a reader, I always want to love a book. I certainly don't start a novel with the hopes that it will bore me to tears. But this one nearly did just that.

This story is endless, and not in a good way. There are pages upon pages of nothing happening. Somewhere within it all I'm fairly sure there is a decent plot, though the sheer excess of words left me floundering for some reason to continue this torturous event.

The narration keeps us at a distance, as if we're being told this story by someone
Nene La Beet
Uh altså, først var jeg ellevild - sådan ca. de første 150 sider. Men så må jeg sige, at min begejstring kølnedes betragteligt. Gentagelse på gentagelse, helt unødvendige bi-historier, udpenslet politisk indhold, så man til sidst næsten helt havde tabt interessen for indholdet. Ak og ve. Jeg tror sjældent, at jeg er faldet i søvn til en skønlitterær bog så mange gange! Jeg fik dog læst den færdig og fik bekræftet min mistanke om gerningsmand og løsning på bogens gåde. Hvordan i himlens navn har ...more
Deanne Lloyd
Mar 16, 2014 Deanne Lloyd rated it did not like it

I did not enjoy this book at all. Finally 200 pages from the end I gave up. There are no likeable characters in this book. The story about the dead woman on the beach isn't even what most of the book is about. There are way too many other storylines going on. I wish I had picked another book in my queue. I feel like I wasted several days of reading time.

Aburrido a más no poder, se hace eterno. La sinopsis parecía interesante pero empieza a flojear desde el principio y no mejora. Mejor ahorraos el tiempo y leed algo que merezca la pena.
Jul 11, 2016 Marie-Paule rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een pageturner ! Het verhaal over zeven volwassenen die als baby voor adoptie werden opgegeven door hun alleenstaande moeder, en wiens lot voor de rest van hun leven met elkaar verbonden blijft. Een verhaal van beschadigde kinderen die men met veel goede wil 'repareren'in een adoptieproces dat totaal geen rekening houdt met de moeder-kind-band, en waar al die eerzame bedoelingen tot weinig 'reparatie' en tot veel extra beschadiging leiden. Een beklemmende beschrijving van de adoptiepraktijken in ...more
Debbie Shoulders
Apr 24, 2014 Debbie Shoulders rated it really liked it
Shelves: action-mystery
Set in Denmark in 2008, this mystery begins with the body of an unidentified woman found on a beach in 2001. Due to the events of 9/11 the death was ruled accidentally and forgotten by most involved in the case.

Fast forward seven years to five men, all born in 1961, who were given up by their birth mothers to a well-known orphanage, Kongslund. All were adopted and in present day have received a letter with a pair of booties wondering if one of them is John Bjergstrand.

The letters lead a journali
Apr 27, 2014 Jennifer rated it did not like it
I am not going to finish this book, but I am listing it because it has taken up enough of my life to count and I got at least 60% through before I couldn't take it anymore. This is a mystery with political intrigue and more. Probably too much more...

There is an old, old orphanage in Denmark that has been home to many children over the years. One group of children from 1961 who were adopted out to "qualified" families have been brought back together in an attempt to solve the mystery surrounding
Megan Kane
Apr 08, 2014 Megan Kane rated it it was ok
Interesting, but felt a little too drawn out

First off, I read this as a free Kindle book and would probably be disappointed if I had paid for it. I was on my way to vacation in Copenhagen when I downloaded the book, it seemed appropriate.
Early on there is mystery and intrigue, but by the end of the story the same vague, cryptic descriptions feel over used. Once the big secret is revealed there is way too much review of the plot and history in the remaining chapters. I felt like I had to finish
Jan 10, 2016 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-expected-more
I don't know how many stars to give this book. It had the makings of a great mystery with some twists along the way, but it is also a very frustrating, annoying and ultimately disappointing read. The author repeats himself a lot (a lot!) and some of his inventions were a bit too contrived to be believable (there is a journalist who is disgraced (before we meet him) because he ran a campaign to have a convicted man released from jail. According to the author the journalist is the reason the man ...more
Jacob Overmark
At 730-something pages, way way way too long.
What could have been an intriguing read, turned into a thing I just had to finish.

I took an interest to the book as I once live more or less door to door to the "scene of the crime" in Skodsborg. Looking back, it was always never a place that caused any attention to the outside world, and I guess it still doesnt.

Taking 7 babies and creating a life story for each of them with, at least, some consistency is an effort I will credit the author.

Whereas p
Rkb 2014
Mar 14, 2014 Rkb 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: judy
This is not your feel-good read. I never review books, but having made my way through the many pages of The Seventh Son, I felt compelled. I am an adoptive parent and have found the experience to be the best of my life. My two daughters are loving mothers themselves now and we have a mutual love for each other that's very fulfilling. That's where I'm coming from as I review. The author of this book is adopted and perhaps this colors his fiction. The main children of The Seventh Son are all ...more
Mar 15, 2014 Bendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book sounded promising. I read the entire thing and still didn't care for any of the characters. Reading this book you'd think that everyone in Denmark is a criminal. Even the things that were done to help a child is told in a jaded sort of way. I think the author is much too close to the subject matter. I know a few people that were adopted and they aren't maladjusted. I wonder if the story lost something in translation. Last but not least is the length of this book and the fact that there ...more
Ken Fredette
Jan 13, 2016 Ken Fredette rated it liked it
This book is long. I'm not one who likes to read something over and over unless there are new details that are exciting. I'm afraid this book could have been a lot shorter. 632 pages. It was very slow in the action category.
May 15, 2014 Caidyn rated it liked it

I got this from Kindle First because it seemed to be the most interesting book, and I've never had the chance to read a translated novel. At least, one that isn't considered a classic and that I was forced to read.

Spoilers are probably going to be ahead.

First off, I want to say that everything was a lie in the novel. A very good way of saying that the narrator -- Was there a narrator, though? The point of view changed so often that it was difficult to pinpoint the main one, yet I have chosen
Jul 27, 2014 Robyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, suspense, kindle
Amazon FirstReads Program

Badly paced and far too long, the author relies on "surprises" and "twists" which he telegraphs long before the reveal such that nothing is ever a revelation.

There's not a lot more to say than what I've said above in my summary. This is a 642 page book that should only have covered 200 pages maximum. Several times the author actually took the time to spend several pages summarizing every single thing that had already happened, not even as if it were a recap, but as if
Jul 11, 2016 Ciska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Erik Valeur was born in 1955 in Denmark. He is a journalist and off-stage commentator. He spend the first two years of his life in an orphanage himself and parts of this book are based on his experiences both as child in an orphanage and situations he walked into while doing research for his work.

I saw this book for the first time on a book expo back in September 2012. They only had a cover and a blurb available at that time but I was already intrigued and knew I had to get my hands
Apr 29, 2014 Kristel rated it really liked it
Synopsis: a story of politics and orphans. There are 7 orphans and one is the child of mystery that could make things very difficult for some politicians and government leaders. The story opens with a dead woman on the shore. There is a lot of odd things about this death but because it happens on 9/11/2001, it is dropped and never solved. How or why this has any relationship to the orphans is anyone’s guess. It takes 640 pages of twists and turns to get through this mystery. Much of the time, it ...more
Carla JFCL
Jan 14, 2016 Carla JFCL rated it it was ok
No, it didn't really take me 90 years to read this just felt like it did. Holy croak, what a struggle. It took me so long to read it that I don't even remember why I wanted to read it in the first place. It wasn't terrible: the story is interesting; the characters are complex; the writing is okay (although mind numbingly repetitive at times); it's just TOO. DARN. LONG. Maybe it takes ten English words to express one Danish word, so it's a translation problem; who knows. I honestly ...more
Erin Farwell
Apr 24, 2014 Erin Farwell rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge
A Danish orphanage built by the sea holds secrets which the author painstakingly reveals bit by bit, as if peeling the layers of an onion. The book begins when a woman is found dead on the beach, displayed with random objects and through the course of the book, her life and the life of seven people who began their lives at the orphanage is explored. The story line shifts through each of their lives drawing the reader into a hidden darkness of the children's ill-fated start to life. The orphanage ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Mitchell rated it did not like it
This has got to be the most frustrating author I have ever read. So many unnecessary words that have nothing to do with the meat of the story. I skipped over many pages and never lost a single thread of the story. How on earth this book won a "coveted" award is beyond me. Makes me wonder about all the other Scandinavian books that didn't bad are they?

I used to look forward to my reading time...I dreaded it with this book. You might ask, why did you keep reading? I honestly hoped it wou
Joan Cobb
Apr 12, 2014 Joan Cobb rated it really liked it
This is a very long, slow mystery, but that's why I liked it! Bit-by-bit and story by story (seven children remember!) the reader is made aware of what seems to be going on and what actually is/was going on. It investigates the psychology of adopted children and touches on nature vs nurture. As the events of 1961, 2001 and 2008 all become clearer and clearer, we finally have some resolution. Unfortunately, to me, the resolution was not as satisfying as I would have liked. The author is Danish ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Trine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, danish, e-book, 2012
Det syvende barn er en af den slags bøger, hvor når man er færdig, man føler sig fristet til at genlæse den for at fatte alle de skjulte hentydninger. Men så alligevel ikke. Den var sej at komme igennem, og af og til havde jeg mest lyst til at lægge den fra mig. Der var alt for megen elendighed, skæve skæbner og triste liv. Børnehjemmet Kongslunds store mysterium var dog interessant nok til at få mig igennem bogen, selv om jeg alligevel sad tilbage med nogle løse tråde. Og at det var et ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Flojo, flojo, flojo. No tenía intención de leer esta novela, pero la editorial me ofreció la oportunidad de hacerle una entrevista al autor y leer la novela, así que pensé que sería interesante. Y sí, la entrevista fue muy interesante, pero el libro en sí peca de lento, en ocasiones de aburrido, y lamentablemente tiene más paja que argumento. No llega a ser un libro horrible, pero desde luego no llega al aprobado.
Jul 11, 2016 Mirjam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
De schrijfstijl van het boek sprak mij niet meteen aan, waardoor ik af en toe moeite had om door het boek heen te komen omdat ik mijn aandacht er niet bij kon houden. Het is wel een apart verhaal waardoor je het boek niet zo makkelijk in een hokje kan duwen.
Marie Bærentsen
Noget af en mursten. Måtte 350 sider hen før der sker noget. Mange unødvendige gentagelser og sidehistorier. Plottet er fint, selvom jeg dog havde regnet det meste ud. Sproget er godt, men lidt redigeringsarbejde kunne have været fint for at undgå ovenstående.
Jul 11, 2016 Catherine marked it as to-read
Just received this e-book thru Amazon's "Kindle First" books-before-published program. Despite grim reviews, chose it over the other 3 offerings as I happen to like Scandinavian writers.
Birgitte Bach
Læseklubbog, anmeldelse følger
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“shit’s burning so close to you that your ass is on fire.” 2 likes
“Like so many champions of justice, she possessed empathy in the abstract, but sometimes fell short when confronted with the flesh-and-blood reality.” 1 likes
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