The stories and history of Vikings definitely gets filed under “things Jamie knows nothing about.” There’s no real reason this has missed my history radar, but I guess you can’t read everything about every time period right? Lucky for me I had the chance to dive into the world of the vikings with Heather Day Gilbert’s God’s Daughter.
One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America. In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America. But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart. Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.
This was an interesting read for many reasons. I learned quite a bit about the viking culture (from marriage, to the roles of women, to duty and loyalty) and am so thankful my birth year was 1982 ; ). Gilbert provides vivid descriptions, often bringing to life all of your senses. While it was a bit slow in the first half, the second half picked up quite a bit and had my full attention.
The novel is full of unique, misunderstood, brave and interesting characters and circumstances. Their personalities, their actions, their struggles, all come together to make for one intense tale. Plus there’s a look at Viking pagan traditions (what were people thinking?!) and a bit of spiritual warfare. What an era that was!
Have you studied much on Viking history? I admit, I’m a bit more interested in The History Channel’s “Vikings” now…
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)