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» Book review: The Western Oak Tree, by Louise Volsted Pedersen.

★★★★★★Book review: The Western Oak Tree, by Louise Volsted Pedersen.

The art of handling life's pain without self pity

16. september 2019.
Ambiorn Happy


A few times in life, I realize the limitations of my words, the silence in my voice. After reading The Western Oak Tree I am at peace, respectfully declining to write about this book, because everything is expressed already, I guess.

But then again, maybe you haven't read it, yet. So, there will be words.

Hit by paranoid schitzophrenia

The Western Oak Tree is on the surface the tale of a Nordic woman who is hit by paranoid shcitzophrenia. This is a tough one to survive.

"As I fell sick my understanding of the world imploded. Everything grew dark and meaningless. And I fell. I fell through the social layers, I lost my job, I lost several of my friends, I lost everything, including the will to live."

The woman loses everything, and the story tries to find a path back to life on Planet Earth and to herself. The long road home.

Found a goldmine of philosophy

The main character in the story is hit hard by life, but most of all she is overwhelmed by an inner flood of wisdom. Like this one:

"Once my mother told me, I had too high ideals about humans. That it would only leave me hurt. Life has taught me a lesson. My mother was right. // [And I realized,] we will not find the one singular truth, but we might come to terms with and accept the plurality in life and the existence of parallel phenomena."

A precise language like pearls of dew

Louise Volsted Pedersen is tight and precise in her language. Like a special flower, one sun in the morning, the animated tones leaving the tip of the bird's beak. Heavy thoughts and ever lasting insights, in her writing understandable without any further explanation. That is art at it's finest:

"Loneliness and isolation is a bad cocktail mixed with cyberspace."

The author is working with repetitions. It works well. The universe from one point, leading to another. And we jump in time and story, revisit memories, the souvenirs from being alive. Someone beautiful, someone fake or broken, but all embodying the treasures of one person's life.

Life is a dangerous condition

Life is one of the most dangerous conditions. We all meet good and evil. To be a human is nicely described in this:

"There was a child. A strong child. Physically and emotionally. An intelligent child too. She grew up and aimed for the sky. She was endurable and took a lot of pain. And she kept on going, she kept on climbing. But everyone has a limit. Everyone can be broken."

We should take care of each other, and mostly ourselves. I like the story. Thank you.

Buy The Western Oak Tree online


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