I am reading…
…Actually re-reading, at the moment. I am re-reading a Norwegian family saga called Livets Døtre (there is no English translation but the title means Daughters of Life) by May Grethe Lerum, in Polish. I came across this series a couple years ago in our Polish blind library and I felt super ambivalent about it! On one hand it’s just so interesting, it takes place in like 18th century Norway and follows the lives of women in quite a particular family living in a Norwegian village, who have extremely weird, tangled and overly and sometimes totally unnecessarily complicated life paths, but there’s 35 volumes in total if I remember correctly so if not all that it would probably take up much less, it sometimes feels rather forced though. I love historical fiction which portrays people’s lives and not necessarily all the political stuff and things like that but simply what life was like then, for different kinds of people. And that’s what these books show very well. Well, I don’t know if they show it thoroughly from a historical point of view and whether a historian would approve, but what I mean by well is that it’s interesting and sounds quite convincing to me. These women have some kind of gift or curse or what you may call it in their family that enables them to heal people or at least help them when they’re sick, and that’s both in terms of that they’re really knowledgeable about herbs and all the medical knowledge that was available to people there and then, but also something more like a superpower or something that they sometimes use. So they help people and treat them from all sorts of things, and it’s really interesting to read about in fiction. The characters are mostly portrayed very colourfully and feel almost alive although sometimes you can feel a lot of something that feels like some bias from the author as if you could figure out whom in the series she likes more and whom she likes less and sometimes it’s a little annoying. And then there’s Ravi Reinsson, or Reinsen or I don’t really even know what his surname is in the original, Ravi son of Rein anyways, on whom, when reading that series for the first time, I got quite a strong faza. I had several literary fazas before but this was definitely the strongest and longest-lasting. It’s partly because of Ravi, and partly because of my current affair with the Norwegian language, which wasn’t a thing back when I read it for the first time, that I decided to re-read this saga. On the other hand, despite enjoying so many aspects of it a lot, I had some problems with this series and a lot of little things and a couple bigger things that I found really annoying and sometimes even quite disturbing with this series and this hasn’t changed now that I’m re-reading it and some of that maybe even is more glaring. And the translation… ugh! I mean, overall it’s not bad, but some bits literally have such awful grammar, or just really awkward. Yet at the same time the aspects of it that were enjoyable for me the first time, are no less enjoyable for me now, and maybe even more so. I have been racing through these books, I can’t recall now when exactly I’ve started reading this series but I think more or less around the time when I got sick with that bronchitis thing, and since I had a lot of time for reading, as well as because it’s interesting while not being very challenging at all, especially that I read it once before, it’s going really fast, and I’m now on volume 15. There’s no Ravi yet but I’m curious if my faza is going to reactivate or something and how my brain’s gonna react. But yeah, overall it’s an interesting experience to reread this.
How about you? 🙂