Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Orange Girl

And I heart this. This is my new blog ( a month old actually). About things I see and like. Like design. fine Art. Fashion. Intelligent ideas. Anything that makes me happy. And kick-fires the grey cells :)

"When the head is full of weighty thoughts, you can either say a few words, or keep silent. Mum kept silent."
-from The Orange Girl

How do you write a review about a book which isn't melodramatic, isn't harsh, yet touches your heart and makes you believe in fairytales? This isn't actually a review. Just what I feel every time I read this book.

The Orange Girl

This book is about a riddle from the past. Riddle about love, oranges, and yes, The Orange Girl. About a guy rediscovering his dead father through his letters. Its about the two voices of the son and the father, the past and the present, coming together in perfect harmony. His father writes in the most beautifully simple manner about his illness, about the Hubble telescope, about The Orange Girl, and the riddle called life.

"Sometimes I have to sleep a bit at this time of the day too, not because I'm feeling ill, but because I can't sleep at night; all the thoughts crowd in on me then, that's when they trouble me the most. Just as I'm about to drop off I get such a deep glimpse into all the unpleasant mysteries, into that huge and horrible fairytale that has no good fairies, but only black omens, dark spirits and evil elves. So it's better to forget about sleeping at night and drop off on the sofa during the morning when it's light."

I so understand this. Because I do this almost daily.

The father meets her, The Orange Girl,  a girl holding a bag full of juicy looking oranges, for the first time on a tram and realises immediately that there was something "unaccountably magical & enchanting" about her. And after heart-stopping moments of looking in her teasing and mischievous eyes, he somehow loses her. She goes away, just like she suddenly came. Like magic. Like a fairy.

And so begins a crazy hunt all over the city; in big supermarkets which sold luscious oranges in brown paper bags; among trams and among cafes... he stupidly, cutely, totally like someone in love - comes up with ridiculously sweet fables of why she needed that big bag of oranges, and how those oranges tied up with the greater scheme of life and most importantly, who was The Orange Girl? 

Was she a part of an expedition to Greenland and needed those oranges so she doesn't die of scurvy out in the wilds? Was she part of a large family, the eldest of her four sisters and two brothers, and those oranges were for her little brother and sisters to take to school with them? Or was she "the mother of a little family that consisted of her and a Mr Nice Guy who had just graduated from the School of  Management, and their little four or five-month-old daughter, whose name he imagined, for some reason, must be Ranveig?"

The story transforms more and more into a beautiful lesson on love and life and everything in between. Yet never becomes overbearing. And by the time the riddle is solved, the world suddenly seems freshly rain-drenched. Of course, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it is has very delicious, different aroma and a wonderful, lingering after taste. Try it once.

The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder
ISBN Code: 978-0-7538-1992-0

You can buy it here.


rainboy said...

I am going to download and read this

sakhii•• said...

sounds nice...i wud like to read it..!!...!!

Beauty and the BEast said...

that's quite a find! And you make it sound so nice...

They should give u a commission for increasing their sales by a notch :P

安琪 said...


blunt edges said...

so what's your share from the sales? ***raised eyebrow***

rain girl said...

@rainboy... uhhh.. buy it!

rain girl said...

@sakhi: :) If you read it, let me know how'd you find it :)

rain girl said...

@B&B: don't you remember? You and Crimson Feet gave to me - as a gift - at that tiny lil shop :D :* All thanks to you :*

rain girl said...

@blunt edges: oranges to last a lifetime.. and pixie dust :D