Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Strawberry Girl by Lisa Strømme Review

I read an advance reader copy in norwegian. I was a little confused, since this seems to be published as both ''The Strawberry Girl'' (UK?) and ''The Girl Between'' (US?). But it all seems to be the same book.

I was definitely interested in reading this, since it's set in Åsgårdstrand, Norway (my last name is Åsgård, and I've been there a couple of times) and Edvard Munch is in it. I'm a sucker for the victorian age, so I was definitely in!

The main character is Johanne Lien, a teenage girl who gets her freedom ripped from her - She has to work for the summer, as a maid for the Ihlen family. She quickly befriends the youngest daughter of the family, Tullik. She drags her away from her duties and out to adventures, often to Edvard Munch's garden. Tullik develops a relationship with the painter, and Johanne constantly has to make up lies to cover for her. Munch already has a bad reputation, and Tullik actually isn't the first Ihlen daughter to have a fling with him...

Amidst all of the drama, this is also a coming-of-age story. Johanne was painted by Hans Heyerdahl as ''the strawberry girl'', and has been associated with that for a long time. She knows she's quickly becoming a woman, but at the same time she loves to be free, to pick strawberries, paint and spend time with her boyfriend Thomas.

After all the drama, I think the characters end up okay. The epilogue takes place in 1947.

Overall, I think it's a good book, especially for being Lisa Strømme's first book. It's not perfect, nor had I expected it to be. It's romantic and lovely, but also very dramatic and random. But I do think she has mixed facts with fiction very well. I would recommend this for teens as well as adults.

Click to buy: Hardback Paperback Audiobook

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