on April 29, 2010
My favorite way to learn more about the world we live in is to read a well-written and compelling memoir! Stina Katchadourian's memoir, "The Lapp King's Daughter", based on her parent's letters written to each other while separated during World War II, fulfills both requirements. I got caught up in the story immediately.
Finland during World War II was a war theater trapped in a power struggle between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Both monsters had designs on a rather innocent Finland-- literally caught between the devil and the deep blue sea! This story gets to the heart of what it is like to be a child in a stalwart family forced to flee from bombs in Helsinki and survive in the countryside with little food. There are many charming anecdotes that you will not want to miss. The author has a great sense of humor which not only helps her survive the war but also contributes to her ingenuity as a writer.
The Lapp King had a marvelous and inventive little daughter!
on October 20, 2011
I found this to be a very well-written, compelling, and charming book about a difficult topic. Much of it is from the memories and perspective of a little Swedish-speaking Finnish girl during the time of World War II, writing as an adult, using her parents letters as the core of the story. I certainly learned a lot of history that was unfamiliar to me. Finland was caught between a "rock and a hard place" in the fierce struggles between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Finland seems to have chosen what was for them a lesser of two evils by siding with Germany for the most part in this version of terrible events of war. The author's loving family experiences are vividly portrayed in the midst of war. However, for once I thought a book should be longer! It could easily be 200 pages without any padding. I needed a bit more background in the beginning before I had a clear understanding of what was going on and exactly where. As
I read on in the book, the writing and storytelling became more and more compelling, so it was satisfying in the end. I had a bit of trouble with the map situation in that some places that were referred to were not on the maps shown. And I do think an index would be helpful as well.
on August 20, 2013
I bought this book for my husband because he is Finnish and loves to learn about Finland. The use of letters written between the parents, the child's views of the world as it happened created an amazing view of what it was like growing up in such a hard time in history. Before finding out my husband was Finnish, we never thought of the different countries roles in WWII, but finding out now how hard it was just for countries like Finland to choose being made a "bad guy" or to be assimilated into something they did not want was HARD and life changing for all involved. I hope to find more books like this that open my eyes to the real stories that changed nations, people, and inevitably the world.
on March 7, 2012
My husband thought it was too girlish. I however enjoyed the book. I being 5 years younger then this girl was, and being a Finnish American child during WWII. It caused me to see what it was like from a child perspective. It filled in some blanks for me, that I was too young to understand.
on June 11, 2010
The Finnish have their own story of trying to make it through the wars. "The Lapp King's Daughter: A Family's Journey Through Finland's Wars" is a memoir from Stina Katchadourian as she tells her families story of how they were in Germany when the war broke out and how they fled through Europe trying to keep their heads above the war. Through the eyes of a little girl at the time, "The Lapp King's Daughter" is a riveting and moving story, very highly recommended.