Simon & The Oaks

by Marianne Fredriksson

Book review

This quietly moving story of family, friendship, and love, by the author of Hanna's Daughters , has already become an international best-seller and will no doubt capture the hearts of American readers as well. Simon Larsson is a pensive andd thoughtful boy growing up i Sweden during World War II, fortunate to be safe within a remarkably loving and cohesive community. Half Jewish, he is being raised byhis Scandinavian aunt and uncle, who adopted him as their own at birth. In a novel rich in mystical overtones, his adoptive parents take on truly archetypal dimensions. Karin's deep love and compassion is matched by Erik's understated strength and stoicism, and together they create a firm family base from which 11 year-old Simon can grow and dream. But Simon, who doesn't know the story of his birth and adoption, seems set apart from his Scandinavian world by his dark hair and olive complexion, and he often retreats into fantasies to alleviate his feelings of disconnection. When he befriends Isak Lentov, a young Jewish boy from Germany, their families become close in spite of the contrast between Isak's father's religious faith and the Larssons' strictly secular Swedish socialism. These two opposing viewpoints help form a unique framework for Simon and Isak as they come of age and work toward finding meaning in their lives, and as Fredriksson explores relations between fantasy, myth, and reality. —Catherine Sias

File size5.3 Mb
eBook formateBook, (torrent)En
Book rating3.75 (1041 votes)

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