Thursday, April 8, 2010
In the Land of Snow and Ice
Title: Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name
By: Vendela Vida
Clarissa Iverton is twenty-eight when her devoted father dies unexpectedly. Uncovering her birth certificate from her father's belongings, Clarissa learns that her biological father is registered as a Sami priest that her mother married in Lapland in a previous life. As Clarissa’s mother disappeared 14-years before, abandoning her and a developmentally-disabled sibling, there is no family Clarissa can turn to for answers to the burning questions she has regarding her ancestry.
Clarissa travels to Lapland in search of answers. In her travels, she meets with a cast of native Laplanders, including the Sami priest she believes to be her father, an elderly Sami woman-healer who, though unable to communicate through language, is able to nurture her body and soul when she falls ill. Clarissa also meets a tender-hearted young reindeer herder who accompanies her to a hotel made of ice. It is on Clarissa’s journey to the ice motel that she learns the bitter truth of her mother's abandonment.
This is a beautifully-rendered tale of a young woman grieving and longing for family and emotional sustenance. The setting is vivid and evocative. Lapland is the land of dreams, past and future.
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