Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses

by Per Peterson

Gail Reid: Out Stealing Horses is the story of Trond Sander, who retires alone to a remote part of Norway to think. A chance meeting with the brother of a childhood friend calls to mind an incident that occured more than 50 years before.

That memory forms a central part of the story when Trond reminisces about the summer he shared with his father at their cabin. The closeness and admiration he feels for his father are recalled fondly in spite of the father's subsequent abandonment of the family. The second plot line is the recollection of what he has been told of his father's secret life during WWII when he was out stealing horses, code for Norwegian underground activity. The simplicity of Trond's present lifestyle with unlimited time to reflect and his appreciation for the natural world around him are juxtaposed with more complicated memories from the past.

This book is both a narrative story as well as a series of impressions and reflections. It is a short novel and many details seem to be left out for the reader to consider and think about. Out Stealing Horses was published in 2007 in Norway and became an international bestseller. I enjoyed the book but I found that discussing it with friends revealed so much more to think about on many different levels.
Rating: ***

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