Let the Northern Lights Erase your Name

Let the Northern Lights Erase your Name

A Novel

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
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On the day of her father's funeral, twenty-eight-year-old Clarissa Iverton discovers that he wasn't her biological father after all. Her mother disappeared fourteen years earlier, and now Clarissa is alone and adrift. The one person she feels she can trust, her fianc#65533;, Pankaj, has just revealed a terrible and life-changing secret to her. In the cycle of a day, all the truths in Clarissa's world become myths and rumors, and she is catapulted out of the life she knew.

She finds her birth certificate, which leads her from New York to Helsinki, and then north of the Arctic Circle, to mystical Lapland, where she believes she'll meet her real father. There, under the northern lights of a sunless winter, Clarissa comes to know the Sami, the indigenous population, and seeks out a local priest, the one man who may hold the key to her origins.Along her travels she meets an elderly Sami healer named Anna Kristine, who has her own secrets, and a handsome young reindeer herder named Henrik, who accompanies Clarissa to a hotel made of ice. There she is confronted with the truth about her mother's past and finally must make a decision about how--and where--to live the rest of her life.

Joan Didion said of Vendela Vida's last book: "And Now You Can Go is so fast, so mesmerizing to read, and so accomplished that it's hard to think of it as a first novel, which it is. Vendela Vida has promise to spare." With Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, Vida more than lives up to that promise as she gives us a remarkable protagonist who is both fierce and funny, and an unforgettable literary thriller that questions whether we can ever truly know where we've come from--and if it is possible to escape our pasts.

Publisher: New York : Ecco/HarperCollins, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060828370
0060828374
Branch Call Number: FICTION VIDA
Characteristics: 226 p. : map ; 22 cm

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b
brangwinn
Aug 07, 2015

A bleak novel about a woman who, upon her father’s death, finds her birth certificate and discovers he is not really her father. Clarissa leaves her fiancé with no notice, and heads to Finland where her mother had lived at the time of her conception. Clarissa’s mother, too, had disappeared when Clarissa was young without a word to anyone. Clarissa thinks she has found her father, the Finnish minister who was deserted by her mother, but the story is much deeper than that. As Clarissa moves around Finland searching for her father, she discovers a very caring group of Finnish people who welcome her, a stranger.

c
CD1982
Mar 26, 2011

This is a beautifully written book, but not a happy one. Interesting fact: the author is married to Dave Eggers!

w
westiestimestwo
Apr 14, 2010

Mother-daughter relationships, identity,rape, Finland- Lapland, Sami culture, Clarissa

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