Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name

CoverLet the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida, is a lyrical Bildungsroman with a tough and sassy heroine. Clarissa Iverton, now 28, has come to New York to attend her father's funeral. Once home, she discovers her birth certificate, revealing that the man she believed was her father was not. Her fiance has kept this secret from her since they were children. Clarissa takes this as the second betrayal of someone with whom she has trust-- her mother has abandoned the family 14 years ago.

Distraught by grief and anger, she follows her mother's pattern and runs away. Clarissa travels to the Arctic Circle, and then, to Lapland, where she hopes to find the Sami priest named on the birth certificate as her father. She also hopes to find her mother.

The story follows the journey motif, and the surroundings are dark and foreboding. The descriptions of this frigid wonderland are breathtaking. The characters Clarissa meets are unique, each bringing another piece of the puzzle that comprises her life.

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name
is a psychological mystery that explores questions of loneliness, alienation, and identify. It is about accepting the past in order to live in the present. It is a novel about self-discovery, about love, and ultimately, about forgiveness.

If you enjoy domestic fiction as well as beautiful language and imagery, this book is for you.

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