Friday 28 September 2012

Shadow on the Mountain

Finished September 28
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus

This is an historical novel aimed at children, set in occupied Norway during World War II. The main character Espen is 14 when the novel begins and starts out delivering underground newspapers. He then becomes a courier and later a spy. Espen is based on the real life Erling Storrusten.
Most of the story is from Espen's point of view, but some chapters are also from the point of view of another young man, Aksel, who joins the German side and some chapters are from Espen's little sister Ingrid.
The history is interesting, and Preus has done her research here. I would have liked more story as I felt it ended a bit abruptly and before the end of the war. I grew to care about Espen as Preus really gave him depth. The reader gets a real feel for the conditions the Norwegian people lived under and the German power they were up against. Being on home terrain gave them a real advantage, but as some of them joined the German side, that wasn't as effective as it might have been. Despite the odds, the Norwegian people became a real burr in the side of the Germans, and this book shows the ways in which that happened. From subtle refusal to comply to sabotage, the people mounted an effective resistance to their occupiers.
This book particularly interests me as part of my heritage is Norwegian.


  1. I've never read a WWII book set in Norway, so this sounds good to me.

  2. Anna, I read another book a few years ago (before I began blogging) set in Norway during this time period. It is called "We Die Alone" and involved a group of Allied commandos dropped off on the northern coast of Norway, where only one survived and shows his tale of survival. It is Nonfiction. I really enjoyed that one too.