“Aga M. said: 4 stars
This story is about a mentally challenged man who thinks that his life is connected strongly with the life of birds from the neighbourhood. Mattis lives with his sister, the woman who obviously sacrifices her own life to take care of her brother. But one day Mattis meets a man and brings him home. And this day is the beginning of the new life for Hege (Mattis’s sister) but it is also the new challenge for Mattis.
I love this story created by the Norwegian author Vesaas. I appreciate his attempt to recreate the inner world of a mentally challenged person. The book has its own specific atmosphere. But... I have been reading a Polish translation of the book – a very poor translation I have to admit. And in many places the language is unnatural, like from a poor play.
Shelley S said: 3 stars
Mattis, a middle aged man of low intellect, and possibly OCD, lives with his sister Hege on the shores of a lake. Mattis' simple mindedness makes it difficult for him to find work at the surrounding farms so he occupies himself by rowing back and forth across the lake, believing himself to be a ferryman. Once, at the other side of the lake, he starts shouting and a lumberjack appears out of the woods and Mattis rows him home. The lumberjack, Jorgen, and Hege fall in love which causes Mattis to feel he'll soon be abandoned. Unable to believe his sister's assurance that she will always take care of him, Mattis rows out to the middle of the lake, kicks a hole in the boat, and drowns. The only reason it made it on the list is the shortage of Norwegian authors and Vesaas' iconic reputation in Norway.”