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The Tricking of Freya: A Novel Paperback – March 30, 2010
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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“Packed with delectable relationships and family secrets . . . We come away charmed, moved, and larger within, having toured a hidden world with a passionate guide.” ―Joan Frank, San Francisco Chronicle
“An intricate family travelogue...This grand coming-of-age-novel boasts a dynamic set of characters and a rich bank of cultural and personal lore, making this dark, cold family tale a surprisingly lush experience.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Sparkles with the author's love of language and of her own Icelandic culture. The book's masterfully told final mysteries reveal themselves as magically as darkroom images appearing under the light.” ―More magazine
“An impressive debut . . . This novel works on several levels: as a drama of family dynamics; as an immigrant story; and as a showcase for the author's broad and deep knowledge of Iceland.” ―Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times
“An excellent debut . . . If all you know about Iceland is failed banks and Bjork, this is a highly readable introduction.” ―Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor
“[An] amazing debut...Like the famed poet within, Sunley's writing is truly poetic. She brings here settings alive in a way that will make you believe that you have been there and experienced it all yourself.” ―BookBitch.com
“Epic... Sunley's research shines through in a story in which the landscape of Iceland is as much a character as Freya, making this an exceptional and unique coming-of-age novel. ” ―Washington State Journal
“Irresistible...smoldering emotions in a cold climate.” ―Telegraph Herald
About the Author
CHRISTINA SUNLEY grew up hearing stories about her Icelandic grandparents and the massive emigration that followed a 19th century volcanic eruption. She has visited Iceland for extended stays to research and write this novel. Her short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she has taught memoir writing and fiction at universities. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Top Customer Reviews
I completely loved this book. I am Scotch-Irish and still found myself totally involved in the characters, their intertwined relationships, and the link of Icelandic culture, language, and geography. In the telling of the tale, this author intertwines geneology, cultural paradigms, and the awkwardness of teenage social acceptability regardless of culture.
If you are interested in stretching your horizons through an excellent read, learning about Icelandic culture, and the link between countries and cultures, then this book is an excellent adventure betwixt your ears.
History being what it is, I gained a depth of understanding of the culture of Iceland that I never would have acquired watching the news. Perhaps readers of today are ready to stretch their horizons, adventure beyond the comforts of home and dive into a book that will draw in their hearts, their dreams and broaden their horizons as well.
However, I still rated this novel with five stars. The character development is excellent, the mystery (although slow to unfold), is very good. The ending is a bit predictable (I saw it at least two chapters before it was revealed), but overall the book is very satisfying.
At first I wasn't enthused about the author's use of the reader as a "cousin", but as time went on I got used to it - although it seemed a bit contrived, even to the end of the book. The literary device just seemed to cause me to pause in my reading; I suppose it is because just being CALLED cousin doesn't make the reader seem like a relative, and to me the book didn't draw the reader in from that aspect.
The descriptions of Iceland are very good, and I got a good feel for the immigrant culture.
There are a few adult moments in the book, but it should be fine for early teenagers and older. I think it would be confusing for younger children.
I recommend this book for people who are interested in Iceland, Icelandic traditions and culture, and those who want a slowly unfolding mystery.
The book did not disappoint. Although there were times it seemed like the author had a list of Icelandic cultural information that she forced into a short passage, on the whole it is a very realistic and interesting look at the land and culture.
Although Iceland features prominently in the book, this is way more than just a book about Iceland. "The Tricking of Freya" is primarily about family dynamics and family secrets. Bi-polar illness is prominently featured. Readers who had been fortunate enough to not been exposed to this disorder will find this book a realistic look at the nerve-racking world of those who love someone suffering from the disease.
Excellent book on many levels. Recommended, especially for fellow Iceland lovers.
And I'm glad it did. Set partially in a realistically drawn Iceland, much of the action is in an even more obscure setting--the Icelandic diaspora in Canada. A little known immigrant group, Icelanders fled a 19th century volcanic holocaust that destroyed farmland. The heroine of the novel, Freya, named for the Norse goddess, is raised partially in the U.S. and partially in the Canadian/Icelandic town of Gimli. When her aunt Birdie kidnaps her the plot is off and running--to Iceland, to a search for Birdie's lost child, and to a quest for self understanding.
The rich language and literature of Iceland plays its own part. In what other archaic poems are there literally a thousand ways to say sword? The characters here are often poets or scholars, drunk on words, inebriated even to the point of mania. Manic depression is a haunting motif, an illness that haunts even characters in the sagas.
The novel is beautifully plotted and described. It treads a path between the literary and the just plain readable. And it was an inexpensive way for me to re-visit Iceland!(To see more on Icelandic writing, visit Miriam's Well blog, [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book and interesting information about Iceland, one of my favorite places on Earth.Published 2 months ago by Janet E. Jorgensen
A great book for those who are learning the language of Iceland. Some interesting history and geography of Iceland was also appealing, but
as a novel, it lacked realistic in... Read more
I learned a good deal about Iceland and how the Icelanders immigrated to Canada.Published 6 months ago by C REYNOLDS
After visiting Iceland, enjoyed remembrances of geology and sagas. Thea additional cultural information was also enlightening. Read morePublished 8 months ago by penny
I read this book around 2007 and I never forgot this woman's search for her cousin in Iceland. The lines of poetry and the Icelandic landscape haunted me. Read morePublished 12 months ago by tmarks