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April Snow Reviews
I read this book about 20 years after it was published, in 1970; as a young teenager (and budding voracious reader) searching around for something "meaty" to sink my chops into, I found it on my paternal grandmother's sparse bookshelf and discovered a real gem! I've never forgotten the life lessons conveyed within, which cross all boundaries of nationality, origin, etc., and simply boil down to human experience. Even the meaning behind the title itself is something everyone should know!Budd's lead character, Sigrid, is steadfast in her commitment to family & home, first and foremost ~ although most will disagree with her reluctance to confront her slovenly husband, there were reasons for the choices she made that she (and all women) are entitled to. You don't have to agree with her to respect her, along with others who make similar decisions ~ she is still a good role model in her portrayal of strength in the face of adversity, devotion to her children above all, caring for home & hearth, etc. It's a book I'd highly recommend, although not to everyone ~ the reader must have the ability to transport themselves away from the mores and trends of today, understanding the time at which the story was set, in order to fully appreciate it. The author's descriptive style and use of historical context make the book enjoyable as well as thought-provoking.Written in the familiar form that Danielle Steel, Debbie Macomber, Jan Karon, and others made popular decades later, it's an easy but memorable read which you won't be able to put down once you start ~ and the month of April is a perfect time to begin! :)
I really liked this--the book was well written and captured very well Sigrid's life with her family. Made me grateful for my blessings and appreciate her ability to go on in her life even when there were circumstances (her awful husband) that she couldn't change. I found out that this is book 1 in a three part series. I'd like to read the other two.
I loved this out-of-print book written in 1951. After my mother-in-law told me how much she loved this book, I found it for her for Christmas and then she wanted me to read it while she is visiting us. I loved the heroine, Sigrid, a Swedish farm wife in the 1870's. Despite her trials (such as having a lazy, sullen husband), she works incredibly hard and looks for the good and raises her many children with love and creativity. The book is beautifully written and I love the descriptions of the Swedish landscape and holiday traditions. A very powerful book! WHY do books like this go out of print?My favorite quote:Looking at her little boy who is in a wheelchair, Sigrid reflects: "'What happiness he knows! Perhaps if he had been able to walk, he might never have known content as he knows it now. Always, the good outshines the ill.' ... 'And it is not what happens to us that is of any importance. Johann has taught me this. The only thing that really matters is how we meet what happens to us -- how we learn to live with the inevitable -- how we think our thoughts to find the good.'" (p. 171)
As I began this novel that once belonged to my Swedish grandmother, I thought it would be too dramatic and lack realism. I soon got caught up in the characters, the setting and found myself eager to learn more of the Swedish way of life almost a century ago. I was fascinated by the strength and courage of the female protagonist and her wonderful grandfather who was ahead of his time in his outlook on women and their role in the world. I was also fascinated by the Swedish traditions, particularly the holidays , described in rich detail.A very pleasant surprise! And I felt even closer to my grandmother and my Swedish heritage after reading it.
This book may have been the first grown up book I read - my mother gave it to me. I haven't read it in over 35 years but i still have a heart-broken spot for it. It's about a Norwegian woman who has a hard life in rural, Norway in the "olden" days. It is tender and sad and you admire the main character so much.
This was rather compelling towards the end though I was pretty annoyed at the main character throughout much of the book. She should have sent her husband off the island in a leaky rowboat. I was interested though in how this book was or was/not a product of the place and time it was published (USA--1950's) while still being a historical saga in Sweden.
This was my fifth Christmas season to read this book. I am writing a more in-depth review but I need to recover first. This was my best ever reading of this book and I can affirm: for ME...it is a perfect book and my very favorite. (A five-star rating to me is a book that is or deserves to be considered a true classic. This one is.)
The everyday life of Sigrid, a remarkable woman who lived on an island off the coast of Sweden in the 1880's. Followed by April Harvest and Land of Strangers.
I LOVED this novel about a woman living in rural Sweden in the late 1800s. If you have any interest in Scandinavian living and/or literature, this is a must. If you're a fan of Anne of Green Gables, you, also, would enjoy this novel. There are very detailed descriptions about daily living and customs in Sweden, and Sigrid, the main character, is a woman of strong faith, creativity, passion, and gentleness. I rarely cry when reading books, and when I do, it's usually because the writing is beautiful, rather than that I'm caught up in the story. I sobbed at this one, hoping along with the characters that all would be well.