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Monday, 16 November 2015

The Birds by Tarjei Vesaas

 (I received the Kindle version of this book, free of charge, from Netgalley in return for an honest independent review.)

Published by Archipelago Books
Beautiful and Thought Provoking    My rating  5 out of 5

Mattis and his sister Hege live together on the edge of a lake, eking out a living from Hege's knitting.  Mattis, whom the locals refer to as "Simple Simon" worries that his sister will leave him, whilst being extraordinarily aware of the beauty of birds.

Narrated from Mattis' perspective, with all his confusions and worries, Mattis tries to understand others but finds it very difficult.  He is also frustrated that others don't seem to follow his line of thinking, or understand about the really important things. 

One day he rows a man across the lake and back to his home, and everything changes.

A moving tale of how others think differently, and how Mattis by trying to conform to expected behaviours only causes more confusion and difficulties - as well as some joyous successes in life.  

Beautifully translated, this book takes the reader straight to the shores of the lake where they, like Mattis, might like to sit and think a while on the messages in this poignant novel.  

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