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January 16, 2023


# NordicFINDS23 A Line in the World (Denmark)

by NancyElin

Lynvig lighthouse Denmark coastline


 A Line in the World A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors by Dorthe Nors Dorthe Nors

Rating: C-
Review: A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast (ISBN: 9781911668190)

Quick scan Dorthe Nors takes the reader along the coastline along the west coast of Denmark at Skagen in the northern tip of Denmark and runs to the Dutch city of Den Helder.

Good news: Writing: This is a book that reads so fluently… and yet is written in literary language and packed with complicated themes. The theme that impressed me the most was: “You carry the place where you come from inside you, but you can never go back to it…you have become a stranger.”

Good news: I used Google images. I want to know where the author is (Børglum Abbey, Lynvig lighthouse, Ringkøbing Fjord). In the beginning of the book there was a strong sense of place. Best chapters: Wadden Sea Suite – Loved learning about the Danish island Fanø and In My Distress – thrilling account of ships, sailors, storms and shipwrecks.

Bad news: 33% read and the book starts to collapse like a cold shuffle. Chapters about a large Skarra cliff…there’s not much you can say about that…and a chapter about visiting 4 churches. I hope this snooze fest is temporary.
Update: Unfortunately the snooze continues. Anecdotes about a hippie camps surfers living in vans and the unfortunate death of a toddler in the forest do not enrich my vision of the landscape.

Personal: Having read the book…I checked some items Ms Nors wrote about in Wikipedia. Many parts of the book felt like “historical fiction” …filling in the gaps with people’s emotions and conversations: example The Burchardi Flood of 1634. Ms Nors has the tendency to lapse into anecdotal narrative. This left me skimming a few pages. (ho…hum)
In short, the book title promised an interesting walk along the Danish coastline…
…but did not deliver.. No, this was not the nature book I was looking for. Perhaps others like it…I did not. If you want a engrossing “walk” I suggest Walking the Nile by Levinson Wood.

Walking the Nile by Levison Wood by Levison Wood (no photo) that was an adventure I’ve never forgotten!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 16 2023

    Oh what a disappointment, I was hoping this was going to a sort of Danish ‘Kathleen Jamie’ but Nors is better known for her fiction and I’ve never quite been tempted enough to indulge that either. This looks beautifully packaged and presented with illustrations, fitting with that nature writing genre, but it seems it is a hybrid! Thanks for the heads up Nancy. I’d been umming and arrhing about this one.

  2. Jan 16 2023

    I have a couple of her fiction titles on my TBR pile, so I will stick with those I think!

  3. Jan 16 2023

    I’ve read two of her novels which I really enjoyed, Minna Needs Rehearsal space – which was written as a prose poem, and Mirror Shoulder Signal which has a wonderful quirky protagonist. Shame about this book being so much the curate’s egg – good in parts.

    • Jan 16 2023

      Thanks for your comment…I will try one of her novels. Perhaps a “walking tour” book is not her strongest strength. As you said…there were some very interesting parts, curate’s egg!


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