Laurie's Reviews > When I Was a Child

When I Was a Child by Vilhelm Moberg
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Sep 09, 10

bookshelves: read-in-2010
Read from August 25 to September 08, 2010

** spoiler alert ** The title comes from I Corinthians 13:
" When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways."

Vilhelm Moberg was a Swedish author and wrote about the Swedish- American dynamic. This story is written from the pespective of Valter, youngest child in a family of 7 kids, whose siblings all emigrate to America when they reach the age of 18 or 19. It takes place in the early 20th century. Valter has to make the hard choice of whether or not to leave Sweden, and his mother, when his time comes to emigrate.
Moberg writes powerfully at times, especially when Valter's father dies and a funeral is held. The story follows Valter as he grows up and his many choices along the way, including socialist ideas vs. traditional roles in society; he goes through stages in his understanding of women; questions on the meaning of life, especially when one of his brothers is killed in an accident in America.
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