Following The Lighthouse Road and Wintering, Peter Geye’s present day novel approximately the Eide circle of relatives, Northernmost, combines a modern-day love story with a historical story of Arctic travail.
Minnesota, 2017: Greta now not loves her husband. On her way to confront him in Oslo, where he has a piece event, she spontaneously detours to Hammerfest, a city in northern Norway. There, she visits her own family’s graves and discovers a link to her beyond she’d by no means known: Her ancestor Odd Eide survived two weeks alone in the Arctic in 1897. His tale evokes Greta to inform her own.
Toggling between Odd’s and Greta’s stories, Northernmost has some thing for everyone: history, adventure, romance and religious awakening. Inspired by Fridtjof Nansen’s real day trip to the farthest factor yet reached in the Arctic Circle, Odd’s journey across a sea of white and cold, complete with riveting undergo encounters and close to starvation, is as harrowing as his return home, where his wife and fellow villagers assume he’s dead. Intertwined with the story of the gradual rejuvenation of his marriage is the tale of Greta’s renewed passion. Both Greta and Odd experience longing and loneliness, stark feelings depicted as certainly because the breathtaking wintry settings. And then, out of the darkness come peace and love as warm because the tropics.
Strong characters steer the narrative with conviction. Stoic Greta is an unbiased woman, navigating divorce with each relatable errors and self-aware intention. Although now not a believer in God, Odd is faithful, living every day for his own family. His pithy and personal way of describing what occurs to him, and his emotions about these events, dignify the text. As Greta learns about Odd’s admirable bearing and spirit, she gains resolve, in addition to a newfound buoyancy.
Geye rounds out his Eide circle of relatives trilogy with a stunning ode to the long-lasting human spirit.