Sara Cold, a bailiff’s daughter, elopes with a fisherman when her father promises her hand to an elderly clergyman. Sara and the fisherman marry, settle in Ålesund on Norway’s west coast, and have several children. Then the husband is lost at sea. To support her family, Sara aspires to train as a midwife. Prominent local citizens support her plans, and she sets off for Christiania, the capital. In 1849 she becomes Ålesund’s first midwife – and a contemporary heroine to boot. But her children have suffered from her year-long absence, and are destined to be marked by it for life.
This is a book about pride and a yearning for freedom, about suppression and the bonds imposed by convention, about poverty and ignorance – and a desire for erudition. A historical novel about the life of women in the 19th century, Sara is highly revealing of the author’s profound knowledge of her subject.
“A book that fills you with a warm glow, wonder and respect. … Toril Brekke has written a historical novel that bespeaks literary fervour and profound respect both for her characters and for what it means to be a human being” Bergens Tidende