The Runestone’s Promise
Matthias has crafted a beautifully written story of a young woman’s attempt to find the family she was never able to meet before. After her mother does everything in her power to stop her sister’s wedding, Gertine sets off on a voyage to meet aunts, uncles, and cousins she never knew much about (if anything at all). Along the way, she learns secrets about her mother’s past that she would never otherwise have known.
The writing is gorgeous, as sharp and beautiful as the Scandinavian sky. Unfortunately, the story itself is dull and, at times, repetitive. Gertine’s relatives became a blur, and knowing so little about her husband, it was difficult to tell why she wanted to return to him except for the comfort of familiarity and the love that had blossomed between them off the page. My interest in her family’s secrets came and went as I read. Mostly I wanted to know where Gertine herself would go next in life, if she would go anywhere at all.
I enjoyed the beauty of the prose, and I know many other readers will as well. Nevertheless, prose alone can’t make a novel.
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