Milwaukee area writer Sandy Brehl’s new middle grade novel tells a coming-of-age tale set in occupied Norway at the start of World War II.
Odin’s Promise relates the story of Mari, who finds herself growing up and learning about her inner resources, as German soldiers patrol the streets of her Norwegian village.
Brehl says though the war provides a backdrop, she hopes young readers will relate to the story of a girl and her beloved dog, Odin.
“I hope I’ve written a story that is strong enough that despite it not being a familiar one…that they nevertheless feel they’ve been there, and they’ve known her, and they care about her. That’s number one for any writer. If I can do that, I can walk away," she says.
Brehl found herself drawn to the mystique of the day-to-day resistance movements that all Norwegian families were involved in during the German occupation. The realities confronting Mari helped Brehl discover aspects of herself not yet realized.
“What I often inscribe for young people is that you are stronger than you think you are. You’re always stronger than you think you are. The question is whether or not you can find that strength.”
Released in May, Odin’s Promise is published by Crispin Books.