Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:
1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.
But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.
Okay first off I love the name Zelda. Chalk it up to my child obsession with the video game Zelda. Zelda in this book is absolutely wonderful! She is so charming and adorable and I just loved being a part of her life. Zelda is a high functioning young adult diagnosed with fetal alchohol syndrome. Her voice will completely tug at your heart strings.
A really neat aspect to this book was the wealth of Viking knowledge. Zelda is a fan of all things Vikings. And through her love of Vikings she sets out on a quest herself. To fullfill her legacy in life. To find herself and voice her independence while defeating all those on her villian’s list.
On the other hand we have her brother Gert. Gert is not only her brother but also her sole caregiver. Gert has been dealt a complicated life with a younger sister like Zelda. However he truly loves her and its that love that has Gert making questionable decisions because going to school himself and supporting Zelda costs money. And when money is involved we know life can become a complicated journey.
This book is told with the same gentleness as The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime. This is a perfect book club pick and a read for those who can resonate with different voices in literature. It has controversial topics and many discussions to be had. Zelda’s journey is complicated and hard and has some horrific moments to them but over all her journey is the one of life, no matter what limitations a person may have.
Thank you Simon & Schuster for sending a review copy to me. I really enjoyed When We Were Vikings.