Amidst the plethora of books that could have been read and reviewed–many of which are on weighty matters–I found this tiny jewel.
The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woewode is a short tale set against a distinctly Norwegian backdrop. Easily read in one setting, the brief pages paint a sweet picture of a family who, together, struggle against hardship and the joy they find in each other and not in the “having of plenty”. Seen through a young girl’s eyes, we catch glimpses of a father who desires and delights in providing for the needs (and wants) of his family, a mother and grandmother who is resourceful, and a patriarchal grandfather who years for better times for his entire family.
Reading the book brought back fond memories of devouring the Little House on the Prairie books when I was a little girl.
That said, I would have liked to have seen the story flushed out a bit more. I was left with more questions and curiosity than answers. I would have loved to have seen the characters developed a bit more so that they were rounder and fuller–more “knowable”.
Also – and this is in no way an indictment upon the author – I no so little about the Norwegian culture. A glossary or a brief education on life in Norway in the days written about in this book would have been helpful. As it is, I have things I need to look up to satisfy my curiosity, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Investigating for one’s self is always beneficial.
All in all, it was a nice, short breath of fresh air for the Christmas Season.
I received a free review copy from Crossway Publishers.