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Simon and the Oaks by Marianne Fredriksson

Simon and the Oaks (1985)

by Marianne Fredriksson

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5961416,462 (3.79)32



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English (8)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I thought about this book rather a lot when I wasn't actually reading it. The setting is rural Sweden and follows two families whose lives intertwine from about the 1930's onward. Each family has a Jewish connection during WW2, but that's not really what the book is about. The families live in a neutral country and, as such, are observers to the atrocities of war, but that's not really what the book is about. One family is poor, hardworking and, eventually, successful, the other rich, but that's not really what this book is about. Each family has a son about the same age - one who is adopted the other whose mother is committed to a mental illness facility, but that's not really what this book is about either.

Rather, the book is about each person's reactions to and feelings about themselves, the people around them and the situations life deals.

I would definitely recommend this book. ( )
  EvelynBernard | Sep 21, 2015 |
Simon & The Oaks by Marianne Fredriksson; (4*)

This book, set in Sweden, provides an interesting perspective on familial relationships. With World War II and it's horrors as a backdrop the author has created and grown some really wonderful characters that I hated to let go of at the end of the story.
Much of the book is based on the individual character's thought processes as they assimilate things that are occurring in their lives.
This book contains truth within it's story along with some magic realism and it left this reader sharing the melancholy of the characters. It read like sheer poetry. ( )
  rainpebble | Aug 27, 2015 |
I read this one in its German translation in a bid to improve my German. The story of a half-Jewish boy growing up in Sweden during/after World War II was surprisingly gripping: there was so much human interest; so many opportunities for drama. Not to mention what I think of as the 'filth chapter' which contributed countless words to my vocabulary that I would never have learned in a classroom. There were frequent forays into the surreal, or into the realms of Nordic folklore, which were tough to read and understand, but the remaining 'real life' sections were excellent. Its range is astonishing - farming, boatbuilding, concentration camps, national service, archaeology. I was never quite sure where it was going to go next. I suppose it's a natural reaction after nearly five months in its company, but this book's characters now feel like members of my own family. ( )
  jayne_charles | May 21, 2015 |
Follow this saga of how various characters react to the curve balls life throws at them. No one is immune. ( )
  Yabut | Jan 27, 2015 |
A too well plotted soap opera. Every character has "issues" which are magically sorted out leaving them stronger and more grounded without changing them. The setting and incorporated details of daily Swedish life before, during, and after WWII was interesting, though. ( )
  ELiz_M | Apr 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marianne Fredrikssonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Middelbeek-Oortgiese… JannyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tate, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Voor Ann
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"An ordinary bloody oak," the boy said to the tree.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753810751, Paperback)

Simon is an ordinary boy growing up in Sweden; at least until World War II is declared; until he befriends the traumatised Jewish boy Isak; and until he learns that he is adopted. With his innocence forever lost, Simon must embark on a quest for self-hood that will be his salvation - or ruin.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The friendship of two Swedish boys and the way they are influenced by each other's families. One boy descends from wealthy Jewish intellectuals, the other is the son of a craftsman working with his hands.

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