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

The Orange Girl

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  25,674 ratings  ·  2,298 reviews
'My father died eleven years ago. I was only four then. I never thought I'd hear from him again, but now we're writing a book together'

To Georg Røed, his father is no more than a shadow, a distant memory. But then one day his grandmother discovers some pages stuffed into the lining of an old red pushchair. The pages are a letter to Georg, written just before his father die
Paperback, 151 pages
Published July 6th 2005 by Phoenix (first published 2003)
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 The Orange Girl, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Krisz Our daughters and sons DO know how we met - and there are so many more things that are much more interesting and worthy to tell them than the meeting …moreOur daughters and sons DO know how we met - and there are so many more things that are much more interesting and worthy to tell them than the meeting of their parents. Sure it's fun, but nothing more. Any little story about THEM as kids beats such in any given moment.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,674 ratings  ·  2,298 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Orange Girl
Ahmad Sharabiani
Appelsinpiken = The Orange Girl, Jostein Gaarder

The Orange Girl is a Norwegian movie released in February 2009. It is based on a book by author Jostein Gaarder; a book translated to 43 languages.

Georg Røed's father Jan Olav died when he was four years old. Eleven years later, Georg's grandmother finds letters addressed to Georg from Jan Olav, written before his death, along with a story titled "The Orange Girl."

As Georg soon discovers, "The Orange Girl" is not simply a story, but a riddle from
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
“My father died eleven years ago. I was only four then. I never thought I’d hear from him again, but now we’re writing a book together.”

Sometimes, there's a disarming beauty in simplicity. Sometimes, describing ordinary feelings and doubts is enough for writing extraordinary books. This is the case. I'm so happy that this is my first Gaarder's book. I love how he evokes emotions in the reader's mind without even trying to manipulate them.

The plot isn't quite about philosophy, but it also isn'
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
“But the dream of something unlikely has its own special name. We call it hope.”
― Jostein Gaarder, The Orange Girl


The Orange Girl was my introduction to Jostein Gaarder; Thanks to my friend, ST for suggesting Gaarder to me. The Orange Girl was the perfect book to read after finishing Ulysses.

Gaarder is a true romantic and The Orange Girl is as fine a feel good book as there is.

While reading The Orange Girl, you will experience a wide range of emotions ~~ you will laugh, cry, be frustrated,
Maria Espadinha
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“In choosing to live, you also choose to die”

Shall we never start because we fear the final?!
Since every beginning encloses an ending, obviously what really counts is what we do in between!
Denying ourselves the experience will be like arresting our own development!...*

So Simple... So True 👍

*However there are things your survival instinct will probably advise you not to do:
Probably 😉
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn to let go.
This book helped me be calm and still in a very difficult time in my life. I borrowed it from a friend, Shehneela, when I chanced upon it in her hostel room. I did not have any great reasons to pick this book up when she offered me to select something from her bookshelf, but now I am glad I picked this one up.

I cannot explain in simple words how this book has helped untie a knot in my heart and mind, but it has, and for that reason, I wanted to do away with Shehneela's copy altogether. I was uns
Eli ad
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading the book! And now I’m thinking, would i choose to have a life on earth if i actually had a choice?!
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
I do have some grudges against the book, what with it being way too heavy on all the orange content. Then again, it's got a really sweet plot and even manages to introduce some character dev and even angst as well as some P.S. I Love You vibes (even though both books seem to have been issued almost simultaneously in 2005 and therefore might be unlikely to be borrowing each other's tropes). There's also a lot on space research and telescopes and our space missions. What's not to love?
Anyway, as
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it

What is this great fairytale we live in and which each of us is only permitted to experience for such a short time?

This is what I'll remember from this book. A simple love story with a complicated question. A dad left his son a letter from beyond the grave, telling him the fairytale of how he met his mom.

It was sometimes frustrating to continue reading but in the end, it was worth it.

Second time reading this sweet book! It's funny how, back in 2012, I was more touched by the romance aspect of the story. Today, I'm more shaken by the philosophical reflections about life and death.

Some parts were not as magical as the first time reading them, but the last third was A-MA-ZING. I took my time and read a lot of parts twice. Quick but intense read!

4.5 rounded down
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs
I loved the book. A short and simple yet very touching and deep making me both smile and shed tears...
Bahar Mir
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-re-read, favorites
Lately I had been having trouble dealing with existentialism. I even nagged to a dear friend that why don't we get a choice in that...why can't we choose to exist or not to,living in this dark world hurts and I can't take it anymore... and then the universe decided to mock me and put this amazingly written book in my hand in the midst of my visionary thoughts. If you have ever read any of the gaarder's book you're gonna think this must be so much about philosophy...Well it's not, I mean it is. b ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish I would have gone for it much earlier, when I was about 13-15. Anyway I like the idea and the fundamental questions brought up in the book. To me this is a baby to the God's illusion documentary by lovely Richard Dawkins, as he mentions "we are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. most ppl are never gonna die cuz they are never gonna be born. The potential ppl who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabi ...more
Maria Espadinha
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words Never Die

My father died before we could have a proper conversation. I was still an infant — too young to talk about life, love, death, or anything else that could possibly matter!...
However, dad wanted so much to guide me, to be there for me, that before his death he managed to write a letter addressed to a future me — a letter I found in a moment I desperately needed it!

Unlike people, words never die!

P.S.: I’m not telling you the story of my life — these thoughts belong to the main charac
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
I once had a really horrible boyfriend (actually, I’ve had several), and while he busied himself with Crown lager and transforming into Mr Hyde I would bury myself in ‘Sophie’s World’, a book lent to me by a kind aunty with impeccable timing. The solace I found among those pages initiated a quest to read more of the Norwegian writer’s stories, much like my later obsession with Paolo Coelho or Juliet Marillier.

But Jostein Gaarder’s offerings are a bit hit and miss. The curse of being a seasoned
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a lovely story. 15 year old Georg is handed a letter his now-deceased father wrote to him 12 years ago. Georg was only 3 years old when his father passed away, therefore has no real memories of him. The letter his father writes recounts a story of "the orange girl."

I liked how the story was structured; first Georg reads a section of his father's letter and then he digests and questions what he's just read. As the letter progresses, we can see Georg's thinking process and see how he evol
Chadi Raheb

Although I'm still reading & enjoying the other book of Gaarder "Sophie's World", this book seems to be a waste of time.

For the moment, I'm really not interested in figuring out how the late father of the teen in the book met his wife (the teen's mom), describing lots & lots of details in a long long loooong looooooong letter. I'm not much into romance in books! at least, not like that! So I have to stop reading.

I would put this book on my guilty-pleasure list & will get back to it in my 80s, l
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was one awesome book! I actually just came to read it because of my seat mate way back in my senior year in high school. She was the one who owns the book actually. I saw the book on her desk and asked her if she could give me a gist of the story. She told me that it is better if I read the book myself because she finds it a bit difficult to explain what is in the book. I didn't hesitate, I immediately grabbed that opportunity to be able to read the book. I was so curious about its cover an ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I don't know how to start talking about this book. All I know is, after finishing it, I said: Beauty lies in simplicity.
I've read Jostein Gaarder's other book "Sophie's world" many years ago, so I was expecting this one to be a bit complex. And it was not! Still, it was a thought-provoking story, a modern fairytale with a bittersweet ending.
As the whole book is about George reading a letter from his dead father written eleven years ago, we will get to see how his father was telling the story, an
Brian  9 ¾ ⚡
Sep 24, 2018 marked it as dnf
DNF 14%

The story doesn't interest me. Maybe I'll pick this book again in the future.
Norah Una Sumner
One of my goals this year is to read some more Scandinavian literature, outside of my university readings so far, and The Orange Girl was one of the most promising titles I've came across. I've seen quite a lot of reviews saying this one hits close home as it's majorly a letter from late father to his now 15 year old son and as someone who lost their father early on too, I was interested to see what this was all about.

If The Orange Girl was a real human being it would be like a manic pixie girl
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well, it has been many years since I read a book, cover to cover, over the course of a day or two. The Orange Girl has restored my faith in my ability to do just this. I have found that every book I have read of Gaarder's has held me captivated and I love the way in which not one word is wasted nor is it skimmed over (on my part!). This book is no exception.

The Orange Girl's main focus is on Georg, his deceased father and his father's love and obsession with the 'Orange Girl'. Georg's father die
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
As much as I disliked the way the story was narrated, I must confess the ending was breathtaking! My answer is YES, I would definitely choose to live in this world full of wonders even if it's too short or even if we have to leave it so early. Plus, based on my religious beliefs, we have been asked to be brought to this world before birth! So, I stand by my choice to live this life, which is a gift to those who embrace it. Just so you know, I'm one of those who enjoy single little things, even h ...more
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a letter written to his Son by a dying Father is found many years after the Father's death, it opens his boy's eyes to the deepest feelings of the Dad he has lost, and has had to grow up without.
The letter is a story about a mysterious girl his Father encounters, and his search to get to know more about telling this story, and asking his son to help solve the mystery surrounding her, he shows his son his true self, and helps the boy to understand so much about life.
This is such a
Although it wasn't my original intention, I read this book in one sitting. Somehow I needed to keep going, all the while hoping the mystery of The Orange Girl would be revealed. In retrospect, I was glad to have avoided reading reviews until I finished the book, as I feel some reviewers gave too many (philosophical) hints away. ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
this book had some unique ideas. like how our world is a big fairy tale. and as i was reading i felt a little sorry that we could no longer see the magic. when i look at a tree, I see green leaves that can catch the light and turn it into different chemicals. I think about the mechanism of photosynthesis, and how the vessels in it's trunk transfer different materials to every part of the tree. because i know the rules, a tree doesn't mesmerize me anymore, I don't see the magic when i look at it. ...more
May 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
Again one of those books I just wanted to be over with. I didn't like the story, nor did I like the way of its story telling.

A teenage boy was narrating a letter from his dead father and interrupted him the whole time by making some unnecessary comments. The dad's story itself was some boring lovestory cliche. The auther tried to make it look mysterious at first for some reason I wished I knew, at the end it turned out to be nothing extraordinary.

But there were actually more to the book than its
Julie Mestdagh
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"No two oranges are alike…."

Amazing. Breathtaking. Emotional. After having read this book in one stretch in one day, I find myself quite content in the sofa, my thoughts wandering all over the place, feeling both lucky, happy, sad and nostalgic at the same time. What a book!

"The orange girl" by Jostein Gaarder is actually a story written by two authors. When Georg, a Norwegian boy whose favourite words are "yes please, a bit more of both" , is 15 years old, his grandparents show up with a lette
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Few days ago Kay-c asked me what book should she read if she wants to start reading philosophy book. I immediately said' Jostein Gaarder's!'. Jostein Gaarder was the reason why I read philosophy book in the first place. I read Sophie's World years ago and I was hooked! So I started reading his other books. Orange Girl isn't my favorite Gaarder but that doesn't mean this book isn't worthy of your time. On the contrary, I think this is one of the must-read book; especially if you're taking interes ...more
Bjørn Zeiler
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Bjørn by: Helene Petersen
Shelves: depth
A friend of mine told me that this was her favorite book and I am happy to say that I can definitely see why.
It is a wonderfully written story combining the presence and wonder of an essay with the tension and romance of a novel.

It leaves you with a sort of childish wonder which you suddenly notice that you've missed. The world is so "figured out" with science and politics that we sometimes forget what it feels like to look upon it and simply "wonder".
The book explains this and manages to pull
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think I wasn't prepared for this book. It opened up a lot of questions that every one of us hides in the corners of our mind.
If you had a choice between living ( for an unknown period of time ) or declining the offer of life - because perhaps you're too afraid to accept that you lose everything one day;
what do you choose ?
If you choose to live, you chose to die.
A book that makes you look beyond what you see. ( Hakuna Matata all )

- Следи део из књиге, не укључује никакав spoiler. -
" ....Н
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Format 9 18 Sep 04, 2018 10:06AM  
NO 1 10 Jun 04, 2018 11:20PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Redact description 3 17 May 11, 2018 12:57PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Morte di una sirena
  • Gli affamati
  • E poi basta: Manifesto di una donna nera italiana
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
  • ハリー・ポッターと炎のゴブレット 上
  • Il più grande uomo scimmia del Pleistocene
  • The Suicide Shop
  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold (Before the Coffee Gets Cold, #1)
  • چشمهایش
  • قهوه سرد آقای نویسنده
  • Letter to a Child Never Born
  • سمفونی مردگان
  • A Fraction of the Whole
  • La casa delle voci
  • Siamo tutti bravi con i fidanzati degli altri
  • هری پاتر و محفل ققنوس - کتاب پنجم جلد یک از سه
  • Rumaysa: A Fairytale
  • Pizzeria Kamikaze
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Jostein Gaarder is a Norwegian intellectual and author of several novels, short stories, and children's books. Gaarder often writes from the perspective of children, exploring their sense of wonder about the world. He often uses meta-fiction in his works, writing stories within stories.

Gaarder was born into a pedagogical family. His best known work is the novel Sophie's World, subtitled "A Novel a

News & Interviews

We all want to spend more time lost in the pages of great books. That's the idea behind our annual 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge! It's...
88 likes · 11 comments
“Imagine that you were on the threshold of this fairytale, sometime billions of years ago when everything was created. And you were able to choose whether you wanted to be born to a life on this planet at some point. You wouldn’t know when you were going to be born, nor how long you’d live for, but at any event it wouldn’t be more than a few years. All you’d know was that, if you chose to come into the world at some point, you’d also have to leave it again one day and go away from everything. This might cause you a good deal of grief, as lots of people think that life in the great fairytale is so wonderful that the mere thought of it ending can bring tears to their eyes. Things can be so nice here that it’s terribly painful to think that at some point the days will run out. What would you have chosen, if there had been some higher power that had gave you the choice? Perhaps we can imagine some sort of cosmic fairy in this great, strange fairytale. What you have chosen to live a life on earth at some point, whether short or long, in a hundred thousand or a hundred million years? Or would you have refused to join in the game because you didn’t like the rules? (...) I asked myself the same question maybe times during the past few weeks. Would I have elected to live a life on earth in the firm knowledge that I’d suddenly be torn away from it, and perhaps in the middle of intoxicating happiness? (...) Well, I wasn’t sure what I would have chosen. (...) If I’d chosen never to the foot inside the great fairytale, I’d never have known what I’ve lost. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s worse for us human beings to lose something dear to us than never to have had it at all.” 161 likes
“If I’d chosen never to the foot inside the great fairytale, I’d never have known what I’ve lost. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sometimes it’s worse for us human beings to lose something dear to us than never to have had it at all.” 95 likes
More quotes…