Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name
By Vendela Vida
Completed June 10, 2011
Have you ever had the rug pulled out from under you? That’s the case with the main character of Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name. Clarissa Iverton is a twenty-something subtitle writer who, upon her father’s death, discovers that he was not her biological father. Feeling betrayed by this secret, Clarissa flees to Finland in hopes of finding her father – and more about herself.
Upon arriving in Finland, she ventures above the Arctic Circle to the land predominantly inhabited by the native Sami people. Sami are indigenous to the Lapland – an area where Clarissa’s mother, Olivia, had spent some time before Clarissa was born. Olivia took off when Clarissa was only 14, and between the death of her dad and the unknown identity of her biological father, Clarissa was like a boat lost at sea. Thankfully, she met people along the way who helped her discover the truth about her lineage.
Vendela Vida does a phenomenal job depicting Finland, its people and heritage. You get a good dose of history in this book, which should delight most history buffs. As Clarissa journeys through the Lapland, you can’t help but root for her, hoping she finds peace as she learns more about her mother and father. More importantly, you hope Clarissa learns to accept what life has dealt her, and unlike her mother, deal with the issues head on.
The title of this book is derived from a poem by Sami writer, Marry A. Somby, and it’s the perfect title for Clarissa’s story. Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name is a fast-moving, suspenseful tale that should be liked by fans of literary fiction. I know I enjoyed this book immensely. ( )