The Tricking of Freya Book reviews


Author(s): Christina SunleyDownload  


A young woman obsessed with uncovering a family secret is drawn into the strange and magical history, language and landscape of Iceland.
 Freya Morris grows up in a typical American suburb – but every summer, she enters another realm entirely when she visits her relatives in Gimli, a tiny village in Canada settled by Icelandic immigrants. Here she falls under the spell of her troubled but charming aunt Birdie, who thrills her with stories of exotic Norse goddesses, moody Viking bards, and the life of her late grandfather, the most famous poet of “New Iceland.” But when Birdie tricks Freya into a terrifying scandal, Freya turns her back on everything Icelandic and anything that reminds her of the past. She is living an anonymous, bleak existence in Manhattan when she finally returns to Gimli for the first time in two decades – and stumbles upon a long concealed family secret. As Freya becomes increasingly obsessed with unraveling her family’s tangled story, she finds herself delving into the very memories she has worked so hard to forget. When the clues dry up in Gimli, Freya journeys to Iceland itself. On this rugged island of vast lava fields and immense glaciers, Freya’s quest comes to its unsettling conclusion. A beautifully-written debut novel that deftly weaves together Iceland’s distinctive history, ancient mythology, reverence for language, and passion for genealogy, The Tricking of Freya is a powerful exploration of kinship, loss and redemption.

Some Reviews: 204 in

Darshan Elena

Darshan Elena rated it     

What a great novel! Sunley weaves together a tale of immigration and regeneration that references, invokes, and even uses some of the tropes and devices at the heart of Icelandic language and literature. But there’s more, the author’s description of the local features of Iceland made me yearn to visit this nation. So enticing did I find her descriptions that I spent a couple hours staring at images online – including travel possibilities! Snobs be warned: this book does adhere to generic conventions; there were no major surprises in the plot. The pleasures were those of prose, observation, and characterization… More than enough for me!


Janice rated it      

I loved many things about this book. Hard to believe this is the first fiction by this author, her writing skills are so wonderful. I loved the story, about the life of a young woman, Freya, who is looking back at events in her childhood, and the dynamics within her family. Freya is “stuck”, nearing her thirtieth birthday, and recently reconnecting with her 100 year old grandmother. This is a story not only of one young woman, one family, but also a culture and community. This book gives such a sense of place; the geography, geology, history, and some of the cultural artifacts of Iceland are not only part of the story, but underlie much of the history of this family.


Harvee rated it      

Interview with author Christina Sunley:…
The tricking of Freya involves a Wild Sheep Chase (a la Murakami) to Iceland – the land of elves, Norse gods, lava rocks, black sand, glaciers, and thick-furred Icelandic sheep. More:…


Rita rated it     

This is fiction, the narrator is supposedly writing her autobiography. Freya is an icelandic-canadian, who grows up in Connecticut suburbia. She has a grandma and Aunt who live in a small town in lake Winnipeg, in Manitoba. When she is 7, she gets to visit them for the first time, and this is when she learns about her Icelandic ancestry. The reader will learn much about Iceland, its culture, geography and language. I really wouldn’t normally be attracted to a book about Iceland, but my sister went there in 2017, and my curiosity was peaked by her falling in love with the country. So, really, I’m grateful to Carmel, for leading me to this lovely tale, that I thoroughly enjoyed. I predict that you will, too.


Dominique rated it     

I’m not sure how to describe this novel. It’s a partial historical fiction (feeling very present nonetheless) about a woman named Freya and her childhood memories visiting Gimli in Canada, up to her present day self. The story explores her family’s life (specifically her enthusiastic aunt and regal granny) and their secrets, sprinkled with epic Norse myths. The descriptions of Iceland are amazing. There is a mystery in this novel, but the goal of the novel is not to solve it- it’s the journey experienced by Freya and by the reader. The story is very compelling!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here