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A Blessed Child

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  255 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
From the internationally acclaimed author of Stella Descending and Grace, a captivating story of sisterhood and of the inescapable chords of childhood memory.

Every summer Isak Lövenstad gathers his three daughters by different wives to the windswept Baltic island of Hammarsö. Here Erika, Laura, and Molly know, if only for the season, what it is to be a family, and here, i
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 442)
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Nov 13, 2009 Oceana2602 rated it liked it
Sometimes you can tell by the writing where the author of a books come from. Is that just me? Russian books often have that endless feeling, sad, slow, cruel and limitless. British books are rainy (come on, have you ever read a British book where rain hasn't been mentioned at least once?). This book is norwegian, and, well, I haven't read many Norwegian books yet, but I've been to Norway, and this book certainly felt "norwegian" to me.
Whatever that means.

Wait, that means that is moves in a very
Told through flashbacks interwoven with present-day scenes, Ullmann's novel follows the memories of three half-sisters of their father's summer home on the Swedish island of Hammersö. The story centers around the eldest sister, Erika's relationship with a local boy named Ragnar, who is something of an outcast among the other island children. The two have a secret relationship, though Erika is outwardly dismissive of him when he is not present, and her disloyalty ultimately leads to a shocking an ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What does the author mean by "and he was Isak's heel"? (referring to Ragnar) Glad the story comes full circle back to Erika and the snowy night. Liked the sister's adult stories and some of the island stories, but the other island girls (and the way Erika was when with them)were just too horrible for words, mean, manipulative, self-centered, flippant, cruel.
Jan 01, 2009 Tory rated it really liked it
Most of this book takes place on a remote island in the Baltic Sea. I really liked the writing which is very beautiful, very moody. The characters are unique and kind of fascinating and the author moves the story to its inevitable crescendo in a skillful and engaging way.
Oct 25, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: scandinavia, island
Mainly set on a Swedish island during consecutive summers of the narrators' girlhoods. Like peeking into a dollhouse. Lovely descriptions, lovely writing. A bit dark, despite the endless northern sun.
Longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, A Blessed Child had me for the first 100 pages and then it just sort of teetered off from there. The reader doesn’t actually find out why the three sisters, Erika, Laura, and Molly, stop visiting Hammarsö, a tiny island in the Baltic Sea, when Erika was 14 until around page 218, and even then the story refuses to confront the problem, choosing instead to continue with the flashbacks.

The story begins, though, with the eldest daughter, Erika, t
Aug 17, 2014 Miki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un romanzo ambientato in un'isola svedese dove i protagonisti trascorrono le estati. Tre sorelle (padre in comune, madri diverse) passano lí infanzia e preadolescenza, facendo amicizia con altre ragazze e ragazzi, rapporti pervasi da gelosie e angherie, fino a vero e proprio bullismo e violenza. I pochi rapporti di affetto vengono tenuti segreti e persino rinnegati per egoismo e paura del giudizio altrui, fino alla tragedia che segna la fine delle estati insieme nell'isola. Il ritorno delle sore ...more
May 19, 2014 Marina rated it it was amazing
I think this is the best book i've read until now. The story is thrilling, the characters are beautifully designed and felt so real.
This is not a mystery book - you will find out what happend in the past, but if you want closure, you may be disappointed
May 27, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
Three daughters by different mothers, decide to visit their semi-estranged father. The story is told from the the view points of each daughter. What would be most interesting would be the visit but the author never gets us there.
Apr 28, 2012 Esther rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Une histoire des trois filles, demi-sœurs du même père, qui se revoient pendant quelques années chaque été pour des vacances sur une ile.

Il y a des drames de familles et des drames entre adolescents, mais aussi beaucoup de tendresse, de l’amour, des façons de vivre hors du commun. Tout cela dans le cadre de légèreté des étés scandinaves sur une ile superbe et plein de nature intégrée, des vacances scolaires, de la naïveté de jeunesse et avec une certaine innocence.

Une histoire lente et tranquill
Jan 07, 2015 Laura added it
Fantastic! new favorite author.
Dennis George
Mar 22, 2015 Dennis George rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story....great writing.
This was ok but I didn't like the ending.
Feb 12, 2008 wmc rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and heartbreaking story about a man and his various children. The author weaves through the different POVs relentlessly, steadily, elliptically, and she turns the "coming home" storyline into something magical, sharp, dreamlike, and devastating most of all.
Apr 09, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Eh. Another atmospheric book about a character returning to the scene of a tragedy, though the tragedy is second to the drama of the family. A lot was left unsaid, and I wanted it to be said. The whole thing left me cold.
Very Scandinavian, artsy and straight forward in a vague way. Really 2,5 is more accurate I was so mad about how those girls behaved!!! Beautiful summer childhood passes to miserably cold and lonely winter adulthood.
Aug 11, 2009 Theresa rated it really liked it

Beautiful and very Swedish film-like portrayal of one summer in the lives of three sisters, when the eldest is 14. Wonderfully crafted with no unnecesssary parts. Haunting.

Feb 13, 2009 John rated it liked it
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to John by: Oprah?
I read it all but didn t like the ending--I was hoping all three women would finally come together with their biological father--it ended when they were almost there--darn.
was disappointed with this book had so much potenial but the author lost her way with the plot and in the end you didn't really feel anything for the characters
Dec 20, 2012 Allienew rated it it was ok
a lot of nothing occurred in this book and exploitive childhood traumas with no resolutions, but maybe that's the point?
Dec 30, 2012 Ida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En godt skrevet bok, men slutten er litt brå og levner for mange spørsmål ubesvart.
Veldig god beskrivelse av oppvekst.
Probably a good book, but just couldn't get into it..
May 14, 2011 Mervi added it
suomeksi: Siunattu lapsi
Mar 05, 2012 Terje added it
"Õnnistatud laps" in Estonian
Jurgita rated it it was ok
Jun 25, 2016
Marthe Sibbern
Marthe Sibbern rated it really liked it
Jun 24, 2016
Tuju44j is currently reading it
Jun 20, 2016
Trine Salbøg
Trine Salbøg rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2016
 Sophia B
Sophia B marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2016
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Linn Ullmann is the daughter of actress, author and director Liv Ullmann and director and screenwriter Ingmar Bergman.

She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied English literature. She returned to Norway in 1990 to pursue a career in journalism.
Her first novel Before You Sleep was published in 1998. Her second novel, Stella Descending (2001) received glowing reviews. Her third no
More about Linn Ullmann...

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