Loved this book, couldn't put it down. Atmosphere, beautiful characters, tense story line. What a wonderful thing to experience such a different time, such a different place
This novel is set in northern Sweden in the early 18th century, but the time period is very poorly evoked. It could have been set in any century. The community of settlers and Lapps is one in which everyone has a secret and it is dominated by the reality of the harsh climate and by spirits. The mystery, when it is revealed, seems incomprehensible. Not recommended.
Hauntingly written novel set in the northern Swedish area of Lapland in the winter of 1717. A young family, hoping for a better life, move from Finland to their uncle's remote homestead at the base of a dark mountain. The young daughters come upon a badly mutilated body while herding their goats. Others in the outlying community want to dismiss the death as a wolf attack, but the mother (Maija) believes the death was murder and she is compelled to search for the killer.
Very atmospheric and descriptive of how a harsh winter affected peasants at that time. Also a lesson on how punitive religion and superstition can instill fear and destroy people.
Atmospheric story of murder in an isolated mountain community consumed by fear and superstition. One woman must confront the community to solve the crime before hysteria takes hold.
Unusual setting and time period. Very good.
In her author’s note at the end of the book, Ekbaeck provides a brief, fascinating overview of Sweden in the 1700s. Its social and political landscape. Pietism and the questionable role of priests. Sami paganism… Lots of snow. The possibilities for this “Scandanavian thriller” were great.
How disappointing then to find that this Laplander tale was a snooze.
The characters cling stubbornly to the page. The plot never really gains any momentum. And the writing itself is, for the most part, lackluster:
“He began to walk. It was cold. He would go and sit down by his fire..."
A historical novel. A ghost story. A murder mystery. What is this book? It's all three and can she write! I can't wait for her next book.
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