Author: Christina Sunley (click author's name to view their webpage)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tricking of Freya is the story of a young woman named Freya Morris who grew up traveling to visit family in Gimli, Manitoba and being told stories of her roots in Iceland. Her Aunt Birdie adores her and takes Freya under her wing whenever she visits Gimli--teaching her Icelandic and Norse mythology. However, due to Birdie's erratic behavior, the family's relationship with her is complicated and lends itself to mystery. It is this mystery that eventually sends Freya to Iceland to learn more about Birdie, the rest of the family, and Iceland.
|Hallgrímskirkja by aevarg (Taken from Flickr.com)|
Miss Sunley's writing was beautiful. Birdie was a difficult character whose mental illness made it difficult to like her, but I loved her at the same time. She gave Freya her Icelandic identity which was invaluable but was also responsible for some less admirable outcomes in Freya's life. The book really does explain the toll mental illness can take on a family in ways that were sometimes quite raw to read. I did enjoy reading about it though because it gives a fair picture of what it must be like to love someone that can hurt you so deeply (even without mental illness, that is part of loving someone--we love every part of them even if we don't like some things about them). This aspect of the book was what impacted me most, and I think it's definitely something that is invaluable to read for those people who have mental illness that runs in their family. The book told this aspect of the story in such a dignified way that it really spoke to me.
I will admit that I figured out the mystery in the book about 2/3 of the way into it, but it didn't make me like it any less. The book was more about Freya's journey of self-discovery as an American of Icelandic descent, and her acceptance of who she was. The essence of the book was her growth as a person from childhood to adulthood, and how she resolved her past in her own mind. It was simply a beautiful telling of a woman who finds out who she really is in life as she processes all the moments of her life.
Links of Interest
Christina Sunley's Book Tour in Iceland Blog (beautiful pictures included with her story)
Amy from Amy Reads review of The Tricking of Freya
Bibliophile's Icelandic Cooking, Recipes, and Food blog (I looked up some of the foods mentioned in the book and found her blog--she is from Rekjavik so it's real, authentic Icelandic food! How exciting!)
*Notice of disclosure: I received this book for review from Terra Communications.