Join Julie K. Rose as she tours virtually with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for Oleanna from April 1-10.
Publication Date: September 5, 2012
Set during the separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905, this richly detailed novel of love and loss was inspired by the life of the author’s great-great-aunts.
Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family working their farm deep in the western fjordland. A new century has begun, and the world outside is changing, but in the Sunnfjord their world is as small and secluded as the verdant banks of a high mountain lake.
The arrival of Anders, a cotter living just across the farm’s border, unsettles Oleanna’s peaceful but isolated existence. Sharing a common bond of loneliness and grief, Anders stirs within her the wildness and wanderlust she has worked so hard to tame.
When she is confronted with another crippling loss, Oleanna must decide once and for all how to face her past, claim her future, and find her place in a wide new world.
Praise for Oleanna
“This is a novel of quiet depth that evokes strong imagery; it is a story that is stark and humble and at the same time, finely drawn. The awe-inspiring scenery, the backbreaking work, and, at the same time, the appeal of and sense of belonging the women feel for their home are brightly painted through the author’s judicious use of language. A beautiful story.” – Historical Novels Review
“This is a wonderfully quiet, beautiful, emotional novel of family, love, and identity. When this book ended, I contemplated flipping back to the start in order to begin again. I absolutely didn’t want to leave the characters I had come to like so much…There’s elegant restraint in how Rose articulates love and loss, passion and madness, the rhythm of farm life, the quietude of rural Norway…Even if you aren’t typically a historical fiction fan, consider this novel — it’s a wonderful snapshot of a place and a time set in tradition but uprooted by enormous transition. A story of ordinary women, unique and astounding in their own way, that will charm and captivate.” – Unabridged Chick
“Oleanna is a fabulous character. She’s strong but personable and definitely the sort of character that you find yourself rooting for…Historical fiction lovers will eat this book up!” – A Bookish Affair
“I was touched by this book, by it’s very poignant starkness. As I wrote in a twitter feed: ‘Oleanna: a gentle tale with quiet depth, atmospherically stark yet richly detailed like the culture and people of Norge herself. Beautiful.’ The prose was simple yet expressive; no fancy writing gimmicks or extraneous details, but every word was carefully chosen…Overall, I recommend Oleanna. I truly enjoyed this tale and still experience flashbacks of some of the scenes from the book.” – Andrea Connell, The Queen’s Quill Review
“I thoroughly enjoyed every word and highly recommend it as a fascinating read giving insight into a lesser known country and period in history.” – Historical Novel Review
“Reading Oleanna was like taking a breath of fresh air. Julie has crafted a compelling story that takes place in Norway in 1905 and evokes a strong tie between a family and everyday life of the farm they work and live on. She also creates a strong sense of place and culture that blends beautifully with the story. ” – Layered Pages
“The imagery was unbelievable! I could almost feel the cold Norwegian air, even see my breath as Oleanna and I sat around a fire…This is a story about Oleanna coming to terms with herself, and it was a pleasure to be with her on her journey. I would indeed recommend this book. I haven’t read anything at all about Norway at the turn of the century until this book, and the author represented the fear and excitement of change so well. Very good read.” – McArthur Book Reviews
“Oleanna is written with beauty in lyrical prose. It is an intense story of a woman who faces her ghosts, her true desires, struggles to have trust where none has existed before and to allow herself the freedom to choose. This historical fiction novel is an indepth study of an woman who outwardly lives a simple life, but owns a complicated heart. I especially found this novel enticing as it was based on a time and place in history which I’ve not seen explored before. Highly recommended.”
Darlene Williams Historical Fiction Reviews
About the Author
I’m an author of historic and contemporary fiction, and I’m particularly interested in the intersection of the spiritual and secular, the supernatural and the everyday, the past and the present, and the deep, instinctual draw of the land.
I am a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, current co-chair of the HNS Northern California chapter, and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review. I earned a B.A. in Humanities (SJSU) and an M.A. in English (University of Virginia), and live in the Bay Area with my husband and our cat Pandora. I love reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.
Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is my second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.
For more information, please visit Julie Rose’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads and Pinterest.
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Monday, April 1
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, April 2
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, April 3
Review, Interview & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Thursday, April 4
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, April 5
Guest Post at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, April 8
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, April 9
Review, Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, April 10
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books