Occupied: A Novel
Norway. World War II. Trygve, a young Norwegian boy confronting the neutrality of his country in the early years of World War II, his hatred of Germans growing as life is turned upside down. The story is told lyrically with an appreciation of the day-to-day happenings, removed from the present day. Kurt Blorstad introduces the story of his fathers personal experience of the war in a confusing preface better served by a short dedication. Trygve, along with his mother, older brother, and sister, move to the “other” grandparents home when the hope of reuniting with their father in the United States is put on hold. The familys pleasures are simple, bucolic delights: a breakfast of eggs from their own chickens, bread from the local baker, hiking in the nearby woods, carrying out household chores commonplace then but rare today.
In the early chapters, the war does not impinge and the daily routine is undisturbed. Then, Trygve is co-opted to stand outside the village pharmacy to warn local merchants and residents attending conspiratorial meetings of any German approach. The pages offer too little about the boys subsequent bravery when his surveillance is extended to the coastline to watch for enemy ships and submarines. To many readers, Norway is a country “over there and north,” and a helpful map could be added to set Norway in the world rather than regional context. Wartime conditions might be offered in italics rather than in the mouth of adults. Whether the readership is likely to be YA readers or their elders, one distracting question remains: how to pronounce Trygve?
|Star Count||April 2019/5|
|Format||F03 Historical Fiction|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|