Knopf. Aug. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780525655756. $26.95. F
Toggling between the 1890s and the present day, this latest from Geye (Wintering) unfolds the story of Greta Eide while relating her family history, starting with Odd Einer Eide and wife Inger in the northernmost reaches of Norway. In northernmost contemporary Minnesota, Greta, who is struggling with a failing marriage, looks back at her family and its enduring traits and proclivities. She discovers that Odd is something of a folk hero in Norway, having survived two weeks stranded on a frozen island while on a seal hunt. A book about his ordeal comes to light, along with other family documents that clarify much of what Greta has been missing in her life. Meanwhile, a handsome, piano-playing Norwegian sailor steps in and sweeps Greta off her feet and into a new chapter of her life.
VERDICT Geye does a fair job of narrating the tale in a woman’s voice, and his larger-than-life characters have skills—both mechanical and coping
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