Set in Norway in the mid-nineteenth century, Dina's Book presents an extraordinary heroine. Beautiful, eccentric, and tempestuous, Dina carries a terrible burden: at the age of five she accidentally causes her mother's death. Blamed by her father and banished to a farm, she grows up untamed and untaught. Nobody leads the child through her grief, and the accident remains a gruesome riddle of death. Her guilt becomes her obsession: her unforgiving mother haunts her every day.
After several years of exile, and at the insistence of the local pastor, her father takes Dina back. By now she has become like a wolf cub. Her father has remarried, to a younger woman whom she detests, and a strict discipline begins. A tutor is brought in; coarse language is replaced by polite conversation, climbing to the top of the trees by music. But the efforts have little effect. Private and closely guarded, Dina nonetheless is able to manipulate those around her, while her unconventional behavior and erotic power both enchant and ensnare.
At sixteen Dina is married off to wealthy fifty-year-old landowner Jacob, a friend of her father who has fallen completely under her spell. Jacob dies under mysterious circumstances, and Dina becomes mute. When finally she emerges from her trauma, she runs Jacob's estate with an iron hand. But still Dina wrestles with her two unappeased ghosts: Jacob and her mother. Until one day a mysterious stranger, the Russian wanderer Leo, enters her life and changes it forever.
Book ISBN: 9780552996730
Book Pages: 527
Book Publisher: Black swan
Country of Origin: UK
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