The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley

This lengthy historical novel by a Pulitzer Prize winning author is both interesting and different. The action is centered around one family living in Greenland during the fourteenth century. For those who enjoy learning about past cultures and how life was lived by its inhabitants, this will be an absorbing book. For those who don’t, skip The Greenlanders. Smiley attempts to write more than a novel, she also desires to interject a moral or two concerning religion, revenge, justice and need for law in a society. She succeeds in writing a pretty good novel that forces the reader to think a bit about the consequences of their actions. The book is long however, and a little slow. The are also lots of strange names to remember, most of which seem to begin with “Thor”.