How often can you say that there was nothing at all you disliked about a book? Not too often but this is what I said about Simon and the Oaks by Marianne Fredriksson. When I first heard the title and the subject matter, let me tell you, I wasn’t champing at the bit to read it, but it was on the list for the book-club, so read it I did. I didn’t regret it.
An uplifting and sad tale about a gifted boy growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden during World War II, who is sent to a school where sons of the working class do not go. Here he makes friends with a Jewish boy and during his formative years some truths are revealed about his own background that destroys his close relationships and makes him question his future.
There are so many layers to this story, and Marianne tells it with empathy, sensitivity, and a little bit of daring. The characters are highly believable, especially that of Simon and his parents, and the descriptive prose almost engrossing. A great book to discover the history of this era and its effects on everyday life, particularly in countries not directly involved in the conflict. ( Sweden maintained neutrality during WWII)
The book was made into a Swedish movie in 2011 and deservedly won a multitude of awards. A young Skårsgard (Stellan’s son) plays the leading role giving a outstanding performance as Simon.
If you haven’t read this book, please do.
Tomorrow DAY 11. – Favorite classic book.
Something to Ponder About