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message 1: by Don (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Don Janke I think this was a great book. The characters were interesting and very real, although admitedly not the kind we normally see on American TV. The setting description was vivid and realistic. The activities conjured up remembrances of times past and days spent with a friend as well as days working alongside a father, an uncle, or a grandfather. The pride in small matters of quality work, of keeping things in order, of keeping tools in good condition was evident. And yet the characters were struggling with big ideas about what there lives should be about and where they should be going. I was reminded, frequently, of another Norwegian writer, Knut Hamsun, and his book, Growth of the Soil.

message 2: by Jennifer (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer I didn't see the point of the daughter's visit. In such a taughtly written book, there must have been a point. Any ideas?

message 3: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

John I think the point of her visit was to drive home just how isolated he really was. None of the sense of connection (that he had with his father or with Jon) was there. And you are left with him looking out a dark window after she has left and all he sees is his own reflection...

Arlene I thought it did two things: show that he himself had walked away, as his father had; and offer a little bit of hope, a human connection, affection, that might revive.

message 5: by Elizabeth (last edited Nov 28, 2008 08:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elizabeth I think it was important for the reasons Arlene mentions. That he had left her behind, did not think about her. But the visit itself I experienced as a reconnection, not unlike the one with Lars. That he in his solitude is reconnecting with people in ways he did not plan but in ways that he is capable of doing, that his capacity to connect is growing. I see the daughter coming back and them having many more visits and that this will make a positive difference in both their lives.

Nathan I think the most important line from the daughter's visit was when Trond suddenly realizes how much he's about to lose and quickly says, "No, that's not true. Don't go." Admittedly, it seemed like a small step, but a critical one--a lot more than he ever got from his own father. And I agree with Arlene and Elizabeth that it's possibly the beginning of a positive relationship for both of them, especially when he agrees to consider getting a phone.

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