Sigrun's Secret by Marie-Louise Jensen
|Sigrun's Secret by Marie-Louise Jensen|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Enjoyable story for the early teenage girl set in Iceland and Jorvik. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: January 2011|
|Publisher: Oxford University Press|
It must have seemed to Sigrun that she had an ideal life in Iceland, breaking and training the colts on the family farm or helping her mother, Thora, who was a healer. Life seemed to be complete when her father's ship returned home and the family was together again. It was not to last though. Sigrun's parents were hiding a dreadful secret and when it caught up with them, Sigrun, her father and Asgrim, her brother were forced into exile in Jorvik for three years. She was completely unused to the busy city life and disliked the violence and cruelty she found around her. But – at the same time – her own skills as a healer and midwife began to blossom.
Stranded in Jorvik Sigrun wonders if she will ever get back to Iceland. Her mother was left there, looking after the family farm, but it's Ingvar, the man she loves whom she misses most. Gradually she built a reputation as a healer in Jorvik – but the family's enemies had followed them from Iceland.
Sigrun is a wonderful heroine with whom girls in their early teens will readily identify. We see her mature from a young girl who lacks confidence in herself into a young woman with the intelligence and sensitivity to negotiate a settlement to the inter-family feuding in Iceland. She's honourable, with beliefs about slavery which were advanced for the times and she's definitely nobody's fool.
Iceland shines out from the pages; cold and inhospitable in places but with an elemental beauty. It's easy to see why Sigrun loves it so much. Jorvik, on the other hand, smells and is insanitary. I didn't so much imagine it as sense it! The plot is interesting, but not overly complex and whilst there is violence and death, there's a conclusion which will satisfy most girls in the target audience. There's a lack of specific dating for the story but Jorvik places it as late ninth or early tenth century.
It's a good story, well-written and an enjoyable read. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sigrun's Secret by Marie-Louise Jensen at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sigrun's Secret by Marie-Louise Jensen at Amazon.com.
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