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

The House by the Fjord

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A touching and atmospheric love story - When Anna Harvik travels to Norway in 1946 in order to visit the family of her late husband, the country is only just recovering from five cruel years of Nazi occupation. So it is with surprise that she finds in this cold and bitter country the capacity for new love and perhaps even a new home.
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Severn House Publishers
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 House by the Fjord, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The House by the Fjord

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  251 ratings  ·  40 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The House by the Fjord
Review is slightly spoilerish

Anna met and married Norwegian pilot Johan Vartdal in a whirlwind romance while he was on leave in England. Johan didn't survive the final days of WWII and the book begins as a widowed Anna is making an extended visit to his homeland. She spends time in Oslo living with and socializing with fellow war-brides, and you will get endless descrptions of coffee parties and social gatherings that the ladies attend. About halfway through, Anna finally travels to Molde to
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Rosalind Laker says in her biography that she is married to a Norwegian and lives in an old farmhouse there. Her latest novel is a love letter to her adopted country.

When Anna, a young war widow, decides to journey to her husband's homeland, she keeps insisting that it's only going to be for a short visit. Slowly but surely, she becomes enchanted by the beauty of the Norwegian landscape and heals from the shock of widowhood. Still, she prevaricates, even when her father-in-law's lawyer, Alex
Lucy Pollard-Gott
The House by the Fjord is the last novel of the prolific romance writer Barbara Øvstedal (1921-2012), who wrote primarily under the pen name of Rosalind Laker. Her many historical romance novels, notably To Dance With Kings (about the court of Louis XIV), The Golden Tulip (about Vermeer), and The Venetian Mask (about orphaned music students in the Ospedale della Pietà in 18th century Venice), brought her much recognition and the chance to work with Jacqueline Onassis, her editor at Doubleday. ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
3.5 stars
As a Canadian, I have heard and read about the War Brides. English women who married Canadian Service men during WWII. However, I never thought about English women marrying Service men from other countries, ie: Norwegians, as in this book.

At the end of WWII, Anna, now a widowed war bride, is going to visit her husband's father in Norway. Initially, I found the book too descriptive and filled with “filler” words and side stories. However, the story picked up and I really enjoyed it after
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this was part romance, part mystery, part history lesson.....This is my first book by this author and I am planning on reading all of her others. She took a part of history I knew nothing about and made it come to life without being repetitive and overly descriptive. The way she brought the beauty of the Norwegian countryside to life, without seeming overly dramatic or cliched was a nice touch, too. Her characters had depth and flaws. She handled the widowhood of the main ...more
Ann Woodbury Moore
Mar 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
The subject matter is unusual and fascinating: British women who married members of the Norwegian armed forces during World War II return to their husbands' home country at War's end. Much information is provided about their experiences and that of Norwegians who weren't able to flee the country (invaded early-on by Germans). However, this novel is extremely poorly written, with numerous internal inconsistencies, poor characterizations, and too many improbable happenings to be believable.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it liked it
So much great potential but you never got to know the characters!
Jennifer N
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I love novels set during WWII. This was the first that I have read that was set in Norway although it was just after WWII. The main character is a widowed war bride going to visit her husband's home town. This book read more as a memoir than as a novel. By saying that I mean that there was not a huge amount of conflict, twists and turns, character development etc. that you would expect from a novel. You do get to learn a lot about Norway and the imagery ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The House by the Fjord, by Rosalind Laker, Narrated by Anne Dover, Produced by Soundings, AKA Isis, downloaded from

Anna Harvik is an English girl who married a man in the Norwegian Air Force which flew out of England during WW II because the Nazis were occupying Norway. Anna’s husband died, but in 1946 Anna decides to visit his home country and meet his family. She isn’t sure how she’ll be received, so she stays initially with a friend of hers, Molly, another “war bride” who married
Regina Spiker
The book opens with war-bride Anna Vartdal ready to visit her late husband's family and beloved country of Norway, ravaged by World War II. It's Midsummer's Eve of 1946, the ship is docking, and Anna will soon join her friend Molly, who had married her late husband's best friend and who also was a pilot for the Royal Air Force of Norway. On that same day Anna is met by the Harvik family lawyer who is rather insistent on Anna accepting the family home and property. Anna tarries in the town of ...more
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was good! I thought that the side story of Ingrid was interesting but took away from the main character's story. I understand the plot drive behind it, but it could have been a book all by itself. It seemed as if the author didn't have enough story and needed a filler.

All in all I did like the book, just wish that I could have gotten to know Anna & Ingrid better. It seemed so good in the beginning and then it just rushed through her life and before I knew it, she was an old woman within
Bobbi Bullard
This started a little slow but now I'm totally entranced. I'm in love with this book.

The book follows the story of a young English woman who had married a Norwegian flyer during World War II. Her husband is killed in the war and she is visiting Norway to meet her father in law and visit with other brides of Norwegian soldiers she had met in the war.

This book is beautifully written with a wonderful cadence. I never wanted to put the book down. I'll definitely look for more Rosalind Laker books.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, british
It started off well enough but definitely got clunky and boring at the end. The main character started out pretty interesting then became very one note and as I kept reading through the Ingrid (unnecessary & too long) I was just waiting for the already known conclusion to be reached. I did feel like I learned a lot about Norway which I knew very little and gained a little insight into post-WWII Europe, but otherwise it was a waste of time to read.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
A bit of a surprise after reading a number of this authors books previously....mostly based in the 1500s-1700s....while it was good, the lead character herself did not have the same draw for me as other lead have....the author of the journal that she is reading 'Ingrid' has more of a pull. I love this author but I am glad that this was not my first experience of her writing....otherwise I probably would have missed out of a whole lot of awesome reading!
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book did not move me like Laker's other two books set in Norway (albeit during WWII, not after), The Fragile Hour and my favourite This Shining Land, it was still a nice read.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Not the best I ever read of Rosiland Laker. Seemed to take a long time to read. I did learn some things from her factual history. Got a Jeopardy answer by reading this book! Painting the Scream was by a Norwegian painter! Am sure there are other factoids that are dormant. The descriptions of Norway keep it at the top of my foreign travel list.
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
An unexpected pleasure! I grabbed it off the library shelf as a last thought and really enjoyed the story set after WWII. It was a different world at a different time and I fell in love with the house and the country Norway. All the relationships have the complexities that we would anticipate, but it was not a case of knowing how it was all going to end from the start. Well worth the read.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting read. Takes place in Norway after the war so you get an insight into that time in history (very rare) and the lives of war brides and war widows during that time. Inset is the journal of a young woman, the owner of a house which a war widow is given by her grieving father-in-law. The end is rushed but still the book was interesting to read.
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I thought the plot was very interesting and I enjoyed it overall. However, I think the writing was a bit choppy at times. Some parts didn't flow smoothly.

For some reason, I didn't like the character of Molly. She really didn't do anything to make me dislike her, but I just couldn't connect to her.
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was an endearing and very educational book for me since I had never read anything about Norway's involvement in WW II. The love story was also very touching.

After reading this book, I want to plan a trip to Norway to actually see this beautiful country.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't know anything about Norway in WWII, so I loved all the little details about that. And I thought the family history was interesting, but I just wasn't sold on the way the book/characters ultimately turned out.
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this light book about a women in Norway. Her new husband dies in the war and she goes to visit his home in Norway and falls in love with the Country and her new life. I'm excited to go see this part of the world.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
It was okay. I mainly liked learning more about Norway, but I found the story not very well written and predictable. The characters were pretty superficial. Ingrid's story alone would have made a better novel.
Tami Greaney
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
This has been my least favorite of her books.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Don't know much about Norway in WWII. Found this aspect really interesting.
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you can make it past the stilted writing in the first third of the book, the story gets a little better.
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Not usually what I read...but I liked it and finished it in 1 day
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Aug 08, 2012 rated it did not like it

This book was such a disappointment compared to her other books. The story was weak, the characters uninspired....really just a boring book.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thought this was a very sweet story. Very nice and a quick read.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Return to Robinswood: An Irish family saga. (The Robinswood Story Book 2)
  • The Sugar Men
  • Always and Forever
  • The Violin Maker's Daughter
  • My Name is Eva
  • The Uncertain Season
  • Half Past
  • The Silver Suitcase
  • Swallowtail Summer
  • Yours Truly, Thomas
  • Half a Heart
  • The Clothes They Stood Up In
  • Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family
  • The Dressmaker's Gift
  • All That's Left of Me
  • Beach Trip
  • Cry of the Heart: A World War II Novel
  • A Prayer for the Dying
See similar books…
A pseudonym used by Barbara Øvstedal.

Barbara Øvstedal was an author previously writing under the pseudonym Barbara Paul and Barbara Douglas. She wrote a few books under this pseudonym but later changed to Rosalind Laker when Barbara Paul gained recognition. Her many books include The Sugar Pavilion and To Dance with Kings.