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book of the week: dina’s book

book of the week: dina’s book

In today’s post I’ll show you another inspiring novel from Scandinavia: Dina’s Book by the best-selling Norwegian author Herbjørg Wassmo. When I was reading it, I just couldn’t put it down and was forced to go to work like a zombie afterwards. It made a huge impact on me: in some ways Dina could be a role model for me and all the insecure women of the world. On the other hand I was truly angry with the author after finishing the last page. She created an elegant masterpiece and than smashed it with a hammer.

Anyway, the book’s worth reading, so here comes my review of it. I hope you’ll like it. 🙂

The plot in 2 sentences

As a little girl, Dina causes the death of her beloved mother and has to cope with grief and guilt next to her father who isn’t able to forgive her. When she grows older, Dina shows everyone that women aren’t horses which can be tamed and treated like servants or brainless beings.

dina's book
the cover

Why the book’s so special

Dina’s Book portays an uniquely smart and strong woman who is expected to obay the ridiculous rules of the mid-nineteenth century and that of the full-blown partiarchy ruling it. Despite of her unflexible environment Dina always finds a way to stay true to herself and to keep her power. At the end she is the one who tames the world – even if she has to pay the price for it.

This novel isn’t a typical tale of a strong and wild woman, who is admired by society. Because the main characters of most of these tales are women who are easy to like and smart, only a bit unapprehended. Dina is different. She doesn’t fit into categories made for women: she doesn’t like to read or dress pretty, entertain handsome men and please anyone. She doesn’t even want to be with her own son. She rather smokes cigarrs, or plays the cello, is a heavy drinker, likes to be alone and doesn’t talk for months if she doesn’t want to. Summerized: she dares to be herself, even if she has to be brutally cruel.


“I am Dina who sees the sleigh with the person on it headlong down the steep slope. At first I think I am the one lying there tied to the sleigh. Because I feel pain more terrible than any I have ever known. Through crystal-clear clarity, but beyond time and space, I am in touch with the face on the sleigh. Moments later, the sleigh crashes against an ice-covered rock.”

Dina’s Book is for you if

You are a women. (Please, be good to yourself, read and learn.) You’ll like Dina’s Book also if you love the special atmosphere of Scandinavian books, dramatic twists or if you have to deal with a difficult past or insecurities.

Want more inspiration? See the previous posts about The Land of Green Plums and The Half Brother. Or check out the movie which is based on Dina’s Book:


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