Out Stealing Horses (first published in 2003), and has all of Pettersen's haunted charms. As an unnamed "/>

To Siberia

Per Petterson, Author, Anne Born, Translator , trans. from the Norwegian by Anne Born. Graywolf $22 (245p) ISBN 978-1-55597-506-7

This 1996 novel predates Pettersen's acclaimed Out Stealing Horses (first published in 2003), and has all of Pettersen's haunted charms. As an unnamed young girl and her big brother, Jesper (who calls her “Sistermine”), grow up in rural WWII-era Denmark, the two cope with distant parents, an eccentric extended family and the cold wind. Jesper longs to go south to Morocco; Sistermine yearns for the plains of Siberia, foreshadowing lives that will diverge. Their grandfather's suicide, the arrival of puberty and most tragically, the German invasion change their idyllic childhood relationship; as each sibling fights back against the occupation in his or her own way, their inevitable separation looms. The second half of the novel, in which Sistermine struggles to make sense of her life in various Scandinavian cities and towns, awaiting a hoped-for reunion with Jesper, is less breathtaking and mesmerizing than the first, but the contrast makes her numb loneliness and inability to connect all the more poignant. The book builds up slowly, casting a spell of beauty and devastation that matches the bleak but dazzling climate that enshrouds Sistermine's young life. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-86046-460-7
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-0-09-952344-4
Paperback - 325 pages - 978-1-59722-885-5
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-312-42899-0
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4464-0281-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0840-3
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-55597-001-7
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