Author: Kirk Kjeldsen
Publisher: Grenzland Press
Published Date: January 24th 2017
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
My Rating: ★ ★ ★.5
Occupied Norway, 1943. After seeing an allied plane go down over the mountains, headstrong fifteen year-old Kari Dahlstrøm sets out to locate the wreck. She soon finds the cocky American pilot Lance Mahurin and offers to take him to Sweden, pretending she's a member of the resistance. While her widower father Erling and the disillusioned Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hunt them down, Kari begins to fall for Lance, dreaming of a life with him in America. Over the course of the harrowing journey, though, Kari learns hard truths about those around her as well as discovering unforeseen depths within herself.
"It felt like it was hiding something. Secrets, perhaps; the black earth underfoot was full of treasure, and full of bones."
Kari is a teenager living in occupied Norway in 1943 with her father, who she has some problems with. When she sees a plane one day she wants to go and see if the pilot survived, but her father tells her to leave it for the resistance to deal with.
Erling is a widow trying to raise his daughter Kari the best he can. He knows he doesn't do most things right when it comes to dealing with her though and instead just keeps giving her more and more space or being short with her.
Nazi Moltke is an officer who has a big family legacy to live up to, but due to signing up rather late he has now been sent to a small town in Norway instead of the front lines where he feels he should be.
How these three characters will meet and who will survive? Well that's just something you'll have to read to find out.
"Maybe that wasn't the point in belief, she suddenly realized; maybe the point was that it gave one the strength to endure things rather than to change or escape them."
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I loved how we got to know so many different characters and see the story from so many different point of views. But I feel like that also ended up hurting the story. While we get to know a little bit about the characters, we don't get to actually see them develop or really have much back story on any of them until the last 30 pages of the story. While Kari and Lance are supposed to be the main focus of the story, we hardly knew anything about them and they also hardly talked to one another along this journey which was surprising to me. Instead the main development of characters seemed to be on the Nazi Moltke and Kari's father Erling.
The little we did get to see with Kari and Lance was nice, even with her fantasy about who she thought he should be like. The development of the world around them and what was happening in the war was the main focus of this story. I feel Kjeldsen did an amazing job of making me feel like I was with all of the characters while things were happening to them.
"People seemed to be full of hidden fires, invisible to one another and often even invisible to oneself."
Thank you to the author for an e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.