➵ Oleanna Read ➼ Author Julie K. Rose – Johndore.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 274 pages
  • Oleanna
  • Julie K. Rose
  • English
  • 14 April 2019
  • 9781105361418

About the Author: Julie K. Rose

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OleannaSet During The Separation Of Norway From Sweden In 1905, This Richly Detailed Novel Of Love And Loss Was Inspired By The Life Of The Author S Great Great Aunts Oleanna And Her Sister Elisabeth Are The Last Of Their Family Working Their Farm Deep In The Western Fjordland A New Century Has Begun, And The World Outside Is Changing, But In The Sunnfjord Their World Is As Small And Secluded As The Verdant Banks Of A High Mountain Lake The Arrival Of Anders, A Cotter Living Just Across The Farm S Border, Unsettles Oleanna S Peaceful But Isolated Existence Sharing A Common Bond Of Loneliness And Grief, Anders Stirs Within Her The Wildness And Wanderlust She Has Worked So Hard To Tame When She Is Confronted With Another Crippling Loss, Oleanna Must Decide Once And For All How To Face Her Past, Claim Her Future, And Find Her Place In A Wide New World.

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10 thoughts on “Oleanna

  1. V.E. Ulett says:

    Oleana is as insular and beautiful a novel as the Norway of the early twentieth century in which it is set Like all good stories Oleanna is about many things, and this is a story not only of one young woman s experiences, but also of change, the consequences of our decisions, and about loss and grief The novel tells a compelling tale that concludes in hope and the power of the place we call home Highly recommended.

  2. Karen says:

    Oleanna is a book about ordinary women, living on an isolated farm in the isolated western fjordlands of Norway Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth and Torjus, Elisabeth s young son, are the last of their family living on their old family lands The deaths of their parents and sisters, and the loss of their brothers to the lure of the American Dream, have left the sisters restless but tied to the land and their memories The idea of people leaving and never returning is a constant theme in the book, and when Oleanna s relationship with neighbour Anders is threatened she is forced to make a decision about the direction her life will take.One of the most important themes in the book is freedom and choice Set in 1905 during the separation of Norway from Sweden, the politics is never central but is very important in the tale of Oleanna As Norway gains her freedom, so the women in this novel develop their own style of freedom to make choices Oleanna is confronted by the wide new world outside her mountain home She is not a political person, and since she is unable to vote due to her sex she dismisses it as theory with no practical application for me She later sits, somewhat bemusedly, through a suffrage meeting Oleanna does not seek political power but what she discovers in the course of the novel is the freedom to choose how to live I find it quite interesting that in Oleanna it is the men who leave the farm Traditionally, land and land ownership are male things Here the men leave the women with the existing land and go to follow their dreams elsewhere Initially, the sisters seem to lack the choices that their brothers have The loss of their brothers and for Oleanna, potentially of Anders allows, and indeed forces, each of the women into making decisions about their lives They may not have the vote but wider societal changes have their impact Both sisters become strong women Memories of the lost family members abound, tied into the land and the lake, and Oleanna s struggle with her feelings of how to pay her debts to the dead form one of the most beautiful aspects of the novel All the family members except young Torjus accuse themselves of cowardice All struggle to cope with the land and the ghosts of memories who inhabit it Can peace be made with these ghosts or will Oleanna need to leave, and follow in her brothers footsteps to overcome them Can ghosts ever be outrun These are some of the questions this book attempts to answer.I really enjoyed this novel It is a very quiet, thoughtful book I felt drawn in from the first page and found the whole atmosphere convincing from the setting to the characters emotions Loss, grief, change, meanings of freedom, land, family are all explored This novel was a treat from start to finish and I highly recommend it.I received a copy of the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  3. Audra (Unabridged Chick) says:

    When this book ended, I contemplated flipping back to the start in order to begin again I absolutely didn t want to leave the characters I had come to like so much.Set in early 20th century Norway, this novel drew me in immediately with the heartbreaking story and quiet, intense characters Oleanna and her sister Elizabeth are left on their isolated farm in southern Norway after their brother emigrates to the U.S Already too familiar with loss tragic deaths, ended engagements, the absence of their loved ones Oleanna and Elizabeth face their time on their farm with pragmatic determination and couched restlessness.There s elegant restraint in how Rose articulates love and loss, passion and madness, the rhythm of farm life, the quietude of rural Norway In this book, I saw shades of both Sigrid Undset and Willa Cather Rose s story of a strong woman at an isolated Norwegian farm reminded me immediately of Undset s Kristin Lavransdatter while the novel s theme of emigration, place, and identity felt like a companion to Cather s O Pioneers.This is a historical novel for my wife, who believes life is hard and should be unvarnished Rose doesn t employe melodrama or theatrics and yet this is a story of deep loss, sadness, and heartbreak, the kind that just digs and twists I m getting teary again recalling the few particularly sad scenes.I m normally a bit hesitant about novels that feature the author s ancestors or family members I find that sometimes the author doesn t have enough distance to make the characters real flawed or otherwise In this case, Rose s Oleanna and Elizabeth are vibrant and complicated I just adored them and their journey.Even if you aren t typically a historical fiction fan, consider this novel it s a wonderful snapshot of a place and a time set in tradition but uprooted by enormous transition A story of ordinary women, unique and astounding in their own way, that will charm and captivate.

  4. Bettie says:

    Oleanna dedication For Janis Terry Hunt NelsonNorway National Day 17th MaySpring 2013pub 2012hist fic period pieceopening Lake J lster, Sunnfjord, Norway May 1905Oleanna Tollefsdatter Myklebost was beset by ghosts winter ice in her veins, chill and stiff even during the long summer days of the midnight sun.Not the read I wanted This was an undemanding romance beach trinket set in 1905 with the politics merely alluded to Ole Bull founded a utopian New Norway in PA, USA Bull visited the United States several times and was met with great success In 1852, he obtained a large tract of land in Pennsylvania and founded a colony, which was called New Norway but which is commonly referred to as Ole Bull Colony On 24 May 1852, he formally purchased 11,144 acres 45 km2 for 10,388 The land consisted of four communities New Bergen, now known as Carter Camp Oleana, named after him and his mother, six miles 10 km south of New Bergen New Norway, one mile south of New Bergen and Valhalla.Wiki sourced.Could be the root of the title here.

  5. Melanie Spiller says:

    I just finished reading Julie K Rose s book Oleanna, and I feel refreshed The story follows a woman through loss and love, politics and poverty, and throughout it all, sets the scene quietly in Norway I often felt as though I was reading poetry the language was languid and lush and so very evocative I haven t got a single Norwegian root, but I found myself wishing for them, wishing I had a farm to visit and ghosts of my own As another reviewer mentioned, the letter from Julie s grandfather is icing on the cake.

  6. Jenny Q says:

    This lovely little novel was my introduction to Norwegian historical fiction, and I really enjoyed it It s a beautifully written story crafted around characters based on the authors ancestors, Oleanna and Elizabeth, two sisters left holding the pieces of their family s farm after a series of tragedies Oleanna is the older sister, a young woman struggling to hold on to the only way of life she s ever known while the lure of the ever widening world and the opportunities it holds draws her friends and loved ones away As Norway stands on the verge of becoming an independent nation and radical new ideas along with a handsome, mysterious new neighbor make their way into her secluded valley paradise, Oleanna is forced to admit her own curiosity about a rapidly changing world and the possibility of another life that could be passing her by.This novel is so very atmospheric, bringing the mountain and the lake and the sleepy little village in Sunnfjord to life so much that it becomes a character itself, the perfect setting to display her human characters to their best advantage, particularly Oleanna She s such a study in contradiction Devoting herself to the hard work of her farm, she allows herself little room for joy, and yet she is able to appreciate the joy in everything around her She is wise beyond her years and yet at times infuriatingly childish Full of hope and wonder of the unknown world yet too afraid to let go of the ghosts that tether her A supportive sister and loving aunt, an enigma to other villagers, and a wild nymph of the forest to her new friend Anders, an older man starting over in life who is seduced by her unaffected charm and beauty She s flawed and glorious and I found much in her to admire I also found myself unable to put down her story as events combined to force Oleanna out of her sheltered existence and onto an exciting and frightening path to discover what is real, what is important, and what is worth fighting for.It s not often you ll hear me complain that a book is too short, but in this case, I liked it so much that I wanted A little backstory and revelation could have fleshed out some of the supporting characters and given them a bit depth and motivation, and I wouldn t have minded a little historical context either But Oleanna is than enough to carry the story on her own, the setting is fresh and inspiring, and the love story is both tender and tumultuous I was also very impressed with Ms Rose s ability to write honestly and naturally and yet so evocatively that it verges on poetic And her author s note at the end cinched it for me with an old letter that brought tears to my eyes, a sweet homage to the natural magic of the land that had such a hold on Oleanna Oleanna was a very different read for me, and very satisfying, and one I would recommend to anyone looking for a change of pace in historical fiction.

  7. Meg - A Bookish Affair says:

    I really liked this book It had a good story, good characters and an interesting setting I think one of the marks of a good book is when you aren t ready to leave the characters when the book ends I was most definitely not ready to leave Oleanna when the book ended I wanted to see what happens to her Is she happy Will she ever change her mind Oleanna is a fabulous character She s strong but personable and definitely the sort of character that you find yourself rooting for While Oleanna is a thoroughly fictional character,she is based on one of Rose s real life relatives, which I thought was infinitely cool Rose took some of the very little details about what she knew of two of her spinster aunts in Norway and turned it into something really amazing I really liked that Rose included this information in the afterword of the book It s so awesome to see where authors get their ideas.Norway is not a country that I m too terribly familiar with I m even less familiar with the country s history And I m not sure that I ve ever read a fiction book about the country I definitely learned a little bit from this book definitely a bonus when reading something I had no clue that Norwegian as it is today is such a nascent language I found Rose s afterword about the context of this story really, really interesting This book definitely made me interested in learning a little bit about the history of Norway I do wish that Oleanna would have included a little information about the suffrage movement I thought that would have been a really interesting arc especially in light of the country separating from Sweden.Historical fiction lovers will eat this book up

  8. Stephanie Dagg says:

    This is a novel of landscapes physical, political and emotional It has the unusual and beautiful setting of Norway, at an unsettled time in its history The lives of Oleanna and Elisabeth are also unsettled Their brother is shortly to leave them for America, but they must stay and look after the farm The arrival of Anders causes further ripples in their demanding but rhythmic lives that follow the seasons This is something I can sympathise with as a farmer The weather and the needs of the farm at each stage controls what you do at different times of the year And a farm is a hard place to leave All of the characters are strong people Their tough environment seems to have shaped them to be like that None of them is conventional and that s what makes them so rounded and interesting Too often rural folk are dismissively seen as simple and shallow This novel shows the immense depth of personality that such country people possess, like everyone else, and how their lives are enriched by the background of tradition and rural arts and crafts It s a touching, fascinating story It s impossible not to be pulled into Oleanna s life and suffer her torments and triumphs with them A unique and beautifully constructed story that I recommend very highly.

  9. Anna Graham says:

    A magnificent journey to the past Rose captures turn of the century Norway as if having walked the very steps Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth trod running the family farm But this novel is than a trip back in time Oleanna is chased by ghosts, also by one man who shares her trepidations Anders Samuelsson stirs Oleanna s passions, also her fears will she yet again be left behind Norway s beauty, from lush mountains to crowded Bergen, enhances this tale one feels surrounded either by stark, delicious farmland or the bustling, dirty city Those facets augment the core of this novel a woman s fractured and weary heart tries living in two worlds The past haunts Oleanna, while the future seems heavy, without purpose Yet, Anders offers change Will Oleanna brave the unknown, or remain trapped in a hell partly of her own making Julie K Rose spins a tale brimming with ancient stillness and urgent relevancy as Oleanna forges her own way while Norwegians claim their freedom from Sweden.Rose has created honest, well rounded characters set in stunning, crisp locales, affording a pleasurable, thought provoking read.

  10. Tinney says:

    This quiet, profound book explores the still depths of grief and loss, yet it ends with a sense of hope and a realization of what constitutes home Many of my recent reads have been like shallow rapids, so I found this book to be deeply refreshing The protagonist is as richly realized a character as I have encountered in quite a while, and the subsidiary characters are equally individual These are people you feel you really know by the end of the book, in all their complexity and many faceted humanity The setting, too, is drawn in precise and evocative detail The reader doesn t have to take on faith Oleanna s affinity for her homestead in the Norwegian fjords, because we see the farm and the lake through her eyes, in all their beauty and wildness.Oleanna is not a book for people who want non stop action, but for those who want to explore human nature and experience in depth, it will satisfy I look forward to reading by this very talented author Has a really lovely cover, too.