Title: The Kindness of Your Nature
Author: Linda Olsson
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Marion Flint lives alone on the wild west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. One day she meets a small boy, Ika, on the empty, rugged beach, and an unlikely friendship begins between the Swedish doctor and the solemn child with webbed feet and a fear of being touched.
As Marion’s involvement with Ika deepens she is forced to revisit her own lonely childhood in Sweden, where neglect and a destructive home environment had deadly consequences. But Marion’s most deeply buried hurt is that she had to lose the love of her life twice over.
As Marion and Ika grow closer, both begin to learn that human closeness can heal as well as destroy, and when it looks like Ika might have to return to his dysfunctional family, Marion must fight for him to stay with her – for his sake and hers.
Set on the desolate, moody coastline near Kawhia, this beautifully written and insightful novel paints a warm and sensitive portrait of the many forms love takes – the destructive, the forbidden and, ultimately, the healing.
There is a lot of tragedy in THE KINDNESS OF YOUR NATURE but it is not a depressing book at all. Beautifully told, the story unfolds slowly yet relentlessly that took me on ride that I didn’t even realise had me on the edge of my seat. A story that had twists and turns which left me sometimes breathless, sometimes saddened and very much surprised at one stage. I really came to care for Marion and Ika – two people who needed each other in order to accept that while bad things happen in your life, good things happen to and you can ‘own’ the good things as much, if not more than the bad. Marion had spent all of her life feeling that because of the bad things that happened to her, she didn’t deserve the good things that had happened. In order to live she needed to learn this fact. All Ika had known was bad, now he could see that there is another way of life.
Author, Linda Olsson, writes vividly, her words constantly conjured up pictures in my mind and evoked feelings of joy, sadness and fear – I could feel the sand between my toes, see the waves rolling in, actually experience the fear and bewilderment of a small girl unable to protect herself trying desperately to protect her baby brother. Not a word is wasted – it is all reflective and to do honour to the author I too reflected on what I was reading; on what Olsson was saying, and agreeing with her. There were also an aspect of Ika that I related to; his diagnosis of mild autism that spoke to me as well having just found out that our oldest grandson has this diagnosis. Seeing Ika blossom and grow into a lovely young boy with the proper support gave me hope.
I don’t usually remember to write down quotes as I read them then when I think oh I should have written that down I forget where they are located in the book (advantage of e-readers – when using one of them quotes can be saved readily). Anyhow this paragraph stood out for me so I actually wrote it down – just forgot to write down the page number!!!
“…But far-fetched things do happen. In fact, many people’s entire lives are completely far-fetched. I think we are constantly surrounded by extraordinary possibilities. Whether we are aware of them or not, whether we choose to act on them or not, they are there. What is offered to us that we choose not to act upon falls by the wayside, and the road that is our life is littered with rejected, ignored and unnoticed opportunities, good and bad. Chance meetings and coincidences become extraordinary only when acted upon. Those that we allow to pass us by are gone forever. We never know where they night have taken us. I think they were never meant to happen. The potential was there, but only for the briefest moment, before we consciously or unconsciously chose to ignore it…”
Rating: A – Excellent. I could not put it down.
For more about the author – Click Here