Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk“ to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).
This week I am highlighting Kirk Kjeldsen, the author who wrote Land of Hidden Fires, which was read and reviewed by my associate reviewer this month. This novel was published by Grenzland Press on January 24, 2017.
Review posted to Goodreads September 25, 2018
“A fine wartime tale of survival and resistance.”
– Dan Fesperman, author of The Letter Writer and The Arms Maker of Berlin
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.
Kjeldsen weaves an intriguing tale of rescue in Nazi-occupied Norway during WWII. Keri, a young lass, watches as an allied plane crashes into the hills beyond their farm home. Kjeldsen paints a sympathetic picture of the humanity of the occupied Norwegians population. Despite her father’s instruction to leave the situation alone, she goes out to find out the fate of the pilot.
Major Lance Mahurin is dangling helplessly from a tree by his parachute. Kari gets him down and helps to escort him through their frozen territory to neutral Sweden. She risks everything, including her life, to help him escape occupied territory. Kjeldsen carefully describes the dangers of trying to help the allies, but it is a brutal winter and a near impossible trek ahead. Young Kari is smitten with Lance and imagines him as a potential knight in shining armor.
Rewards are available to people in occupied Norway for assisting the Germans in capturing downed airmen. A local never-do-well sets out to assist the Germans in an effort to obtain the reward and in foiling Keri’s plan.
Daydreams are one thing, however, reality is another. As a boy growing up in post-war America, I had often imagined what I would do in similar circumstances. This book is a spellbinding shocker. The plot is well developed and the outcome unpredictable. Keri is remarkably sensitive and resilient and hoping to escape her harsh life with Lance to a new life. The narrative splits into separate POV’s including that of Keri and the pilot, Keri’s father’s search for her, and the German searching for the pilot. Beautiful descriptions of the Norwegian countryside and tension between their escape and the effort to find and stop them.
We received this free book through BookBub and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any interested in WWII stories and coming of age or stories that center in Norway. You will not be disappointed in the book and find it very difficult to put down. 4.5/5 CE Williams
About the Author: Kirk Kjeldsen received an MFA from the University of Southern California and is currently an assistant professor in the cinema program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. He has also taught at Fudan University in Shanghai, the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb), and the Polish National Film School in Łódź. His novel “Land of Hidden Fires” was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. He also wrote and produced the feature film “Gavagai.” He lives in Germany with his wife and children.
More Throwback Thursday Blogs
Renee at Its Book Talk
Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe
Rebecca at The Book Whisperer
Lynne at Fictionophile
Sam at Clues and Reviews
Holly B at Dressedtoread
Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews
Amanda at Literary Weaponry
Annie at The Misstery
Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll
Laurie at Cozy Nook Books
Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine
Susan at Susan Loves Books
Cathy at What Cathy Read Next
Cathy at Between the Lines
Amy at Novel Gossip
Diana at A Haven for Booklovers
©2018 V Williams