Reindeer Mountain by Karin Tidbeck – Season of Stories

What I love about Season of Stories is that the short stories are sent in a very unique way. It starts on Tuesday and ends on Friday. Every Tuesday morning, when I wake up, there is an email that has part 1 of a short story. By Friday, I’ve got part 4 of the short story, which marks the completion of that tale. I love receiving the story this way because it builds the anticipation and leaves me guessing and wondering, just like I would do with a novel that I can’t read all in one sitting. With this story, I really felt that desire to gobble it all up in one go so having this build up just heightened my reading experience…. so let me get on with my review:

Sara and Cilla are on their way to Reindeer Mountain to visit their mother’s side of the family. Their relatives have lived in this area for generations, but now it is time for them to sell their ancestral home. As the girls help the family sort through old belongings, they uncover their great grandmother’s beautiful clothing. Curious about who she was, they ask their grandmother about her … what they find out changes their perception of themselves forever.

My struggle with giving a synopsis of a short story is that I feel like I’m giving away too much. Nevertheless, let me just say that this story was absolutely beautiful. It is told from Cilla’s perspective, who has an interesting yet naive view of the world. Through her eyes, we hear about the vittra, mythical creatures who look like humans but are far more. We hear about the family curse and the signs of mental illness. By the end of the story, we begin to question our own views on reality and identity. It was haunting and beautiful and I’m pretty sure I’m going to give the complete short story collection, Jagannath, a try!


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