Carin's Reviews > The Tricking of Freya: A Novel

The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley
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Jul 31, 2010

really liked it
Read from July 31 to August 17, 2010 , read count: 1

The Tricking of Freya is the story of a young woman named Freya Morris who grew up traveling to visit family in Gimli, Manitoba and being told stories of her roots in Iceland. Her Aunt Birdie adores her and takes Freya under her wing whenever she visits Gimli--teaching her Icelandic and Norse mythology. However, due to Birdie's erratic behavior, the family's relationship with her is complicated and lends itself to mystery. It is this mystery that eventually sends Freya to Iceland to learn more about Birdie, the rest of the family, and Iceland.

Although I have never been to Iceland, I have been to Scandinavia once. Although this book wasn't written yet, I wish I had read something like this before I went. The story is simply beautiful. Freya's journey is one of self-discovery which I enjoy being a descendant of somewhat recent immigrants myself. I have heard some stories about my family's history so I really enjoyed Freya's journey to Canada and Iceland to discover more about herself. There were little things like the references to pönnökokur and vínerterta that made me want to try Icelandic food, short tellings of Norse mythology that made me want to read more complete versions of the stories, and descriptions of both Gimli and Iceland that made me want to visit both places. I even sat and read Christina Sunley's blog about her journey to Iceland and looked up pictures of some of the places mentioned in the book. It made the book even more beautiful to read her experience and look at the pictures she took while in Iceland. I also enjoyed reading her interview at the end of the book because it brought to life just how wonderful the Icelandic people seem to be.

Miss Sunley's writing was beautiful. Birdie was a difficult character whose mental illness made it difficult to like her, but I loved her at the same time. She gave Freya her Icelandic identity which was invaluable but was also responsible for some less admirable outcomes in Freya's life. The book really does explain the toll mental illness can take on a family in ways that were sometimes quite raw to read. I did enjoy reading about it though because it gives a fair picture of what it must be like to love someone that can hurt you so deeply (even without mental illness, that is part of loving someone--we love every part of them even if we don't like some things about them). This aspect of the book was what impacted me most, and I think it's definitely something that is invaluable to read for those people who have mental illness that runs in their family. The book told this aspect of the story in such a dignified way that it really spoke to me.

I will admit that I figured out the mystery in the book about 2/3 of the way into it, but it didn't make me like it any less. The book was more about Freya's journey of self-discovery as an American of Icelandic descent, and her acceptance of who she was. The essence of the book was her growth as a person from childhood to adulthood, and how she resolved her past in her own mind. It was simply a beautiful telling of a woman who finds out who she really is in life as she processes all the moments of her life.

*Notice of disclosure: I received this book for review from Terra Communications.
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Reading Progress

07/31/2010 page 1
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07/31/2010 page 57
16.0% "I am really enjoying this so far, but on to Middlemarch! #bookblogchat"
08/17/2010 page 352
100.0% "I love books of self-discovery especially in the cultural sense. Very enjoyable book!"
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