The critics lavished praise on the two first novels about the family on Mostamägg, which took us into the deep Forest of the Finns, and also let us glimpse life in 19th century Christiania.
This, the third book in the series, follows the lives of Finnish forest dwellers. To find and cultivate new land was part of their age-old culture and many of them immigrated to North America. They found that the forest Indians had many cultural similarities to themselves. Perhaps it was to be expected that they should have more in common with the “wild” natives, rather than the European immigrants. This time, we can read about Kerstin and Erik's early experiences in the country where, as soon as they stepped onto the quayside, they were accosted by ”helpers” who preyed on the naivety of the newcomers.
Above all though, the narrative is about the lives of Lina and the others, who have stayed in the huge forest on the border between Sweden and Norway, where nature is as important – if not more so – as the people. Other core themes in this book are those of children who cannot bring themselves to forgive their parents and parents who cannot accept their children's choices. Perhaps the most painful state is that of not being able to forgive oneself, albeit for an act committed in deep despair?
‘The third book about the people in Finnskogen is at least as gripping and as stylishly written as the two previous volumes ...I am convinced that Britt Karin Larsen deserves at least one prize for this series of novels.’
TARA (6 out of 6 points)
‘Poetic and beautiful … Britt Karin Larsen’s very personal and lyrical language sets her apart from other Norwegian writers.’
‘A strong content and lovely language … Britt Karin Larsen was awarded a prize for her trilogy about the travelling folk. Now she deserves another handful of prizes.’
‘A shining memorial stone … Our expectations are completely fulfilled, and regardless of whether or not there is another novel in this series, Larsen has already erected a splendid literary memorial stone to the Finns of the forest. ... Nonetheless, it is the narrator’s – Britt Karin Larsen’s – literary virtuosity and sure sense of dramatic tension that lift these books far above the average historical novel.’
‘… a new series by Britt Karin Larsen, the storyteller. It is a wide-ranging epic, written with generous inventiveness but which also contains subdued lyrical passages describing nature. And everything is precisely balanced to create the coherence that characterises this series of novels.’
‘The story about the people in the forest never slips out of control. It begins from the beginning and goes on until the end, and so we suddenly find ourselves enriched by having shared a whole new kind of life.’
‘Britt Karin Larsen is an author who is dedicated to one project and this makes it stand apart from those usually created by contemporary writers.’
‘Go to Finnskogen! … Som steinen skinner sustains the same high standard as the two previous books about the people in Finnskogen. ... Larsen’s books are not only unusual, they are unique.’
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