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A Blessed Child by [Ullmann, Linn]
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A Blessed Child Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amid summering tourists on the tiny Swedish island of Hammarsö, a blended multinational family comes together in this arresting and well-observed saga from Ullmann (Grace). Isak, a professor prone to fits of rage, has a loving second wife in Rosa and three daughters by three different women. The eldest, Erika, 13, and the youngest, Molly, five, are flown to Sweden in the summer by their mothers to spend some time with their brilliant, and infuriating father. Middle girl Laura, Rosa's daughter, welcomes them; together, the girls apprehend terror in Isak's irrepressible fits and, tragically, in Ragnar, a local boy Erika's age who doesn't fit in. The narrative moves back and forth in time, as the three daughters converge 25 years later on Hammarsö to visit their aging father, now mourning the loss of Rosa. In adulthood, each woman possesses a profound inner life haunted by buried childhood memory. While the book's tonal coolness won't be for everyone, the observations of teen life are exceptional, and Ullmann (daughter of Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann) successfully mines the traumas of youth for powerful adult emotions. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Erika, Laura, and Molly, sisters with different mothers, are planning to brave a snowstorm to visit their failing father on the Baltic island of Hammerso. Isak Lovenstad, one of the pioneers of gynecological ultrasound, has exiled himself in what used to be his summer house on the island after the death of his second wife. As the three women make their way separately across Norway into Sweden to visit him, they remember the idyllic summers they spent on the island, gathered together by their larger-than-life father. One summer in particular stands out: when the misfit Ragnar, “the boy with matchstick legs,” gets too close to one of the sisters and falls prey to the evil that lives in groups of adolescents, with tragic results. Results that, 25 years later, each sister still tries to understand. Ullmann, daughter of Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann, brings to her fourth novel an impressive voice, a facility with language and character that makes the story sing and resonate long after the last page. --Elizabeth Dickie

Product Details

  • File Size: 559 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 030727781X
  • Publisher: Anchor (August 12, 2008)
  • Publication Date: August 12, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001E2WM5Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,924 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is the story of 3 step sisters sharing the same father going to see him after many years of separation. I found the book disappointing in that the girls didn't spend time together but just individually recalling memories of summers spent at fathers home.
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Format: Hardcover
Both GRACE and STELLA DESCENDING, Linn Ullmann's previous novels, were strange and compelling, and I read them at a gallop. This one took longer; I was constantly finding reasons to put it down and come back later. A BLESSED CHILD is more self-indulgent, I believe, drawing on the author's own experiences; more nostalgic; and more episodic and staccato, never really gathering steam and taking off. There are a few puzzles inside for those who care to solve them, part of the novel's appealing ambiguousness, but the characters remain fixed on the page and do not enter the reader's imagination. By all means authors should strive not to repeat themselves, but as an admirer of Ullmann's work I found A BLESSED CHILD to be a step backwards from the original voice of her earlier novels.
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Format: Hardcover
"A Blessed Child" is an almost Rashomon kind of story, revolving around the perspectives of three sisters who return to a remote Swedish island to be with their aged father for what they believe may be their last time with him. Each daughter has a different mother, and each daughter experiences her own path to maturity in a different way. Author Ullmann weaves their stories together in a completely believeable way, making each's journey fascinating in itself. There is a seminal event which they all witness in unique ways, and deal with in equally unique ways. A satisfying book, well worth spending time with. The author makes the winter weather and the distant locale into "characters" in the story, giving a real feel for the remoteness and frigidity of a tiny Swedish island as the story builds compellingly to a surprising climax. One word about the translation, by a woman curiously named Death: it's first rate, colloquial and symbolic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A recommended book I just got around to reading. The book is set in Sweden/Norway and is about 3 sisters. I enjoy books translated from other languages because you get a good immersion into another way of life. This book was a good story about family issues told from each sisters current adult life and in flashbacks to summers spent together.
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Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to reading any title by Ms.Ullmann after hearing her interviewed recently on NPR. I choose this book based on its title. I don't think I have ever hated characters so much as I did in this book. Despicable, amoral people. I found that I wanted revenge. I wished for it but unfortunately this was unachieved. I realize that this review may compel readers to read it themselves, but beware. I didn't care for the structure of the story and I certainly was appalled by the lewd and brutal teenage sexuality in this novel. I truly hope that this experience was not personal for Ms. Ullmann. It would have been nice if anyone would have mentioned this in any review. I would have skipped this book. I hope for a better experience on the next choice of Stella Descending.
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