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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Publication Date: 2011
"Mette Iversdatters window was a porthole on the winter sky." With this spare, vivid image, Larry Woiwode brings us into the simple and anxious rhythms of life for a Norwegian farm girl in the first decade of the twentieth century. Christmas Eve falls in the midst of deprivation as Mettes family prepares to journey to her grandparents farm for Christmas. When her father fails to bag a big deer on the journey, they arrive, like everyone else, almost empty-handed. Yet despite frustration and disappointment, this extended family combines their meager resources to create an unexpected marvel of a meal that transforms the familys Christmas.
Sharply observed and crisply written, Woiwodes story throbs with truths known to human hearts in any century. He carefully renders the hesitant hopes of a child, the aching disappointments and steady perseverance of her elders, and the surprise of beauty and joy. That prayers may yet be answeredthat the provision may be greater even than the promiseis a truth for Christmas and always.
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Celebrate What You HaveDecember 2, 2014Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Invention of Lefse is a peaceful, homely Christmas tale that spins a fable for the origin of Norwegian lefse bread while also drawing the reader back into a long-forgotten day of simple celebration and elaborate joy.
Thirteen-year-old Mette Iversdatter wakes early on Christmas eve to the wonder of frost on her new glass bedroom window and to the prospect of the day-long journey by sledge to her grandparents home. The spectre of famine hangs over their family celebration, for while their own wheat crop was adequate, Mettes parents know that their extended family is in need, prompting a wrapped gift of fresh ground flour.
With only two bullets remaining, Dad mourns a missed shot at a huge deer which would have been their Christmas feast. Thus, disappointment is an unwelcome guest that arrives late in the day to Grampys eager greeting: Did you bring us deer meat? Family conversation wobbles through the evening, rather like Grampys uneven rocking chair, until he gathers Mette and the children for a story.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the Christmas spirit reigns in a scene reminiscent of An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott. Gifts of sugar, flour, milk, and creamy butter transform blackened potatoes into a Christmas breakfast feast: lefse!
Lefse is the gift for all, cried Grampy, and he spoke truer than he knew. Made from what they had, the lesson of lefse foreshadows the fulfillment of Mettes Christmas prayers, while reminding readers from more prosperous times that the spirit of Christmas lives in a heart that celebrates what God has already given.
Disclosure: This book was provided by Crossway in exchange for my unbiased review.