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Finally done To be honest I have some mixed feelings about this book There were a few parts I really enjoyed, but most of it, I didn t like I don t think I would ve kept reading this if I didn t have to It was slow most of the time and I didn t have an urge to keep turning the pages. This one of my favorite books ever It s a beautiful story with amazing characters Marianne Fredriksson is my very favorite author and she does such an amazing job in character building, describing interpersonal relations, weaving events together and adding elements of mysticism to her books I love it. This book was a birthday present to my ex from her mother, and I picked it up one night after shaking off the dust in lieu of watching the Canucks getting spanked yet again I had never heard of Fredriksson, nor did I have much of an expectation for this oddly titled tome but pleasant surprises are always welcome at Chez Sastre This nicely written, moving story explores the boyhood and adolescence of a pair of Swedish lads Simon Larsson, dark haired and half Jewish, abandoned by his natura This book was a birthday present to my ex from her mother, and I picked it up one night after shaking off the dust in lieu of watching the Canucks getting spanked yet again I had never heard of Fredriksson, nor did I have much of an expectation for this oddly titled tome but pleasant surprises are always welcome at Chez Sastre This nicely written, moving story explores the boyhood and adolescence of a pair of Swedish lads Simon Larsson, dark haired and half Jewish, abandoned by his natural mother to be raised by his maternal aunt and uncle, and Isak, a Jew whose moderately wealthy father, having fled to Sweden from war ravaged Europe, harbors an abundant survivor s guilt that will lash him throughout the novel.Fredriksson has a deft touch, a true warmth for all of her characters, and Simon s adoptive parents, Karin and Erik an earthy, spiritual, and compassionate woman and her jocular, practical, and kind hearted husband are fleshed out nicely as the tale flows by, aging into parents harboring a deep concern for Simon and the way he stands out from his peers, for his highly sensitive nature The novel takes a hard edged look at the self awareness and isolation of two swarthy Jews one initially unaware of his semitic heritage amidst communities of blue eyed blondes, where the sting of Nazism rampant all around, and at times within, the isolated and neutral nation is eager to prick those who don t fulfill the nordic mold.This was the first novel I had ever read by a Swedish author, and the exposure to the s and customs of this Scandinavian giant was fascinating and revelatory in and of itself Fredriksson s sophic and tidal character study, a slow burn through tumultuous times, rewards the reader on several levels I really love stories about families the dysfunction, the normalities abnormalities, the different ways in which each member of the family acts in relation to other members So this book definitely fit that profile I liked that it didn t take place in America or the United Kingdom because I ve read a lot of stories taking place in those locations This book was like a breath a fresh air and Fredriksson does such a good job with imagery that it was easy for me to imagine that I was there, with I really love stories about families the dysfunction, the normalities abnormalities, the different ways in which each member of the family acts in relation to other members So this book definitely fit that profile I liked that it didn t take place in America or the United Kingdom because I ve read a lot of stories taking place in those locations This book was like a breath a fresh air and Fredriksson does such a good job with imagery that it was easy for me to imagine that I was there, with the characters in Sweden The book is interesting and the events in Simon s life keep you turning pages and, in some way, feel involved in it.Again, I m biased due to certain reasons, hence the 5 star rating. I am starting to fall in love with the Scandinavian authors Marianne s writing is powerful and beautiful I believe the best books are those who touch you at a personal level and that s what Simon and the Oaks did to me I felt a great connection to Simon and I saw in a Karin someone that I lost a long time ago but was very dear to me. |Download Book ☹ Simon ♢ This quietly moving story of family, friendship, and love, by the author of Hanna s Daughters , has already become an international best seller and will no doubt capture the hearts of American readers as well Simon Larsson is a pensive andd thoughtful boy growing up i Sweden during World War II, fortunate to be safe within a remarkably loving and cohesive community Half Jewish, he is being raised by his Scandinavian aunt and uncle, who adopted him as their own at birth In a novel rich in mystical overtones, his adoptive parents take on truly archetypal dimensions Karin s deep love and compassion is matched by Erik s understated strength and stoicism, and together they create a firm family base from whichyear old Simon can grow and dream But Simon, who doesn t know the story of his birth and adoption, seems set apart from his Scandinavian world by his dark hair and olive complexion, and he often retreats into fantasies to alleviate his feelings of disconnection When he befriends Isak Lentov, a young Jewish boy from Germany, their families become close in spite of the contrast between Isak s father s religious faith and the Larssons strictly secular Swedish socialism These two opposing viewpoints help form a unique framework for Simon and Isak as they come of age and work toward finding meaning in their lives, and as Fredriksson explores relations between fantasy, myth, and reality Catherine Sias Not so good as expected, there is something missing in this book, I don t know why. Depressing, weird, set in Sweden I couldn t really connect with any of it. 28 Simon and the Oaks by Marianne Frederikssonpre Sweden 6 I loved this book and so much about it While Simon is, indeed, the main character, Frederiksson has included several valuable and round characters who each have their own issues and challenges, heartaches and successes, emotional torment and fulfillment, and each of them matters Very oddly I could have finished this book days ago, but I think I subconsciously put off finishing it because I really didn t want it to end, didn t wan 28 Simon and the Oaks by Marianne Frederikssonpre Sweden 6 I loved this book and so much about it While Simon is, indeed, the main character, Frederiksson has included several valuable and round characters who each have their own issues and challenges, heartaches and successes, emotional torment and fulfillment, and each of them matters Very oddly I could have finished this book days ago, but I think I subconsciously put off finishing it because I really didn t want it to end, didn t want my time with Simon, Erik, Karin, Isak, Ruben, Mona, Klaraand to end While merely all fairly simple and hardworking people, each of these characters brings something important to the story, to the book Overall the book takes on so many different themes, each valuably processed If I could highlight only one aspect that I loved most it is that contained which I also personally value, how we can make and keep friends so close that they feellike family, and how family, no matter how distant, connects hearts and minds via a thread that cannot be broken Frederiksson managed to include so much in a rich story that, though it contains numerous love stories truly does not come across as cheesy, ultimately, but valued Read it I think you might like it