Shad­ow on the Mountain

Mar­gi Preus
  • Review
June 12, 2013

If you are look­ing for a book with rich emo­tion­al con­tent, heart-pound­ing adven­ture, fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry, and deeply involv­ing char­ac­ters, look no fur­ther. This sto­ry, based on the real-life adven­tures of a young Nor­we­gian spy dur­ing World War II, has all those things in spades. The action begins when Nazi Ger­many invades Nor­way, and four­teen-year-old Espen is pulled lit­tle by lit­tle over the next five years into the resis­tance move­ment. In addi­tion to this dan­ger­ous cen­tral fact of Espen’s life are the every­day indig­ni­ties of exis­tence under Ger­man occu­pa­tion, wor­ries over his younger sis­ter (who is like­wise involved in resis­tance activ­i­ties), a blos­som­ing romance, and con­flicts with his best friend, who has sided with the occu­py­ing sol­diers. Espen’s human­i­ty (and that of his fam­i­ly and most of his friends) shines deter­mined­ly through and the last thir­ty pages or so will keep read­ers riv­et­ed. An author’s note at the book’s end talks about the actu­al peo­ple and events that form the basis of the sto­ry, and fills in what hap­pened after­ward. Do not miss this one.

Discussion Questions