Book Review: The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

Genre: Fiction / Philosophy

Page Count: 151 pages

Publication Date: July 2003


Goodreads Summary:

‘My father died eleven years ago. I was only four then. I never thought I’d hear from him again, but now we’re writing a book together’

To Georg Røed, his father is no more than a shadow, a distant memory. But then one day his grandmother discovers some pages stuffed into the lining of an old red pushchair. The pages are a letter to Georg, written just before his father died, and a story, ‘The Orange Girl’.

But ‘The Orange Girl’ is no ordinary story – it is a riddle from the past and centres around an incident in his father’s youth. One day he boarded a tram and was captivated by a beautiful girl standing in the aisle, clutching a huge paper bag of luscious-looking oranges. Suddenly the tram gave a jolt and he stumbled forward, sending the oranges flying in all directions. The girl simply hopped off the tram leaving Georg’s father with arms full of oranges. Now, from beyond the grave, he is asking his son to help him finally solve the puzzle of her identity.


My thoughts:

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I picked up this book, but I decided to read it because it was recommended to me by a friend who has pretty good taste in books. I bought a copy and started reading it a couple of days after it had arrived in the post. The Orange girl

As you can clearly see on my “Book Reviews” page I don’t usually go for deep, philosophical stories, but I’m so glad I read this one!

The book is based on a letter that this man (who was dying) left to his son for when he was old enough to read it. At first I thought it was a bit cringy that all he wanted to talk about was this mysterious girl he met years ago. I mean, parents don’t talk to their children about their old love interests… for good reason!

I think I’d be incredibly embarrassed if my dad suddenly started telling me about his old girlfriends, wouldn’t you?

BUT, as the story unfolds it kind of makes sense why he’s telling his son all that (Even though he does share more than he should sometimes… Cringe!)

This is such a short book (only 151 pages) but in just those few pages the author manages to make the reader think about some pretty deep stuff, and obviously cry rivers as the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together.

A beautiful but sad story. I’d recommend The Orange Girl if you feel like reading something completely different and meaningful.




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