29 August 2008

The Sea Road

The Sea Road: A NovelA friend of mine recently recommended Margaret Elphinstone's The Sea Road. It's a novel about Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir (there's a biography about her called The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown), a Scandinavian women of the Viking age who sailed all over the North Atlantic from Iceland to Norway to Greenland and North America, and later on to Europe. And now I'm recommending this excellent book here.

Probably my favorite thing about this book was that Gudrid felt like a real person. In fact, this is one of the best examples of historical fiction for that reason. I can't think of a false step anywhere in this book regarding Gudrid's characterization. I also liked the method of writing with Agnar writing what Gudrid told him. Exactly right.

Unfortunately this book is a little hard to find. It's out of print and not at very many libraries. I ended up with an ILL from New York. You can order it used online pretty easily though, and for not much money. This would also be an excellent book for a book group.

(And if you do check the reviews at Amazon, disregard the negative one. I can see little resemblance between what is described in that review and the book I read.)

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