The Tangled Skein
For years Norway has been under Nazi occupation, but now that World War II is finally over, Solveig Strand is returning home. As a ten-year-old, she had been sent to Scotland five years before, and in all this time she has received no letters from her parents, brothers, sister or beloved grandmother, Besta. Are they even alive? On the boat sailing to Norway are other Norwegians from Solveig’s village of Helsing, including Einar Utgaard and Ragna Skolvold, who had both been friends of her older sister and brothers. The returning refugees do not know exactly what awaits them at home, but all are eager to begin the rebuilding of their lives. Upon their arrival in Helsing, Solveig is distressed to find the Strand house empty and partially destroyed, but she is even more shocked by the cold and malevolent suspicion surrounding the Strand name. Circumstances of accusation and distrust continue to pile up one upon another, until Solveig is reminded of her Besta’s words about untangling a snarled skein of yarn, “Just get a hold of one end and start working.” Confronting, at first, the doubt of even her friends, Einar and Ragna, Solveig sets herself to follow Besta’s advice. Normally quiet and shy, Solveig determines to take whatever action is necessary to find her family and to discover the real story about their activities during the Nazi regime. But there is a risk in this pursuit, for though the occupation is officially at an end, deadly malice is yet at work—malice now aimed directly at Solveig. This tale of loyalty and betrayal is vividly played out against the background of a country struggling to start anew after the devastation of war.
Original publication date: 1946, Original book: 247 pages