Goodreads Summary: At fifteen, Georg comes upon a letter written to him by his dying father, to be read when he comes of age. Their two voices make a fascinating dialogue as Georg comes to know the father he can barely remember, then is challenged by him to answer some profound questions. The central mystery of The Orange Girl is the story of an elusive young woman for whom Georg sense of awe and wonder.
My Thoughts: I just finished reading The Orange Girl and I have to say that I could not stop myself from crying. This story is so beautiful and sad at the same time that it just affects you deep down in your heart.
It is a relatively short story, but it is beautifully written. It is a story about love, about death, about the universe and it is questioning all of this. The essential question of this story is if the short period of time each and everyone of us gets to spend on earth is worth it. The book provokes the reader to think about this question and everyone of us should answer this question for ourselves as well as Georg answers the question for himself. In my opinion, he comes up with a beautiful explanation for why even this short period of time on earth is totally worth it.
As I said, this story is about love! It describes the love story of two young people who are lucky to have each other. I am sure most of us dream of a love like this and that is why it makes us sad when we realise that this love is forced to an early end. It made me cry to see that the father of Georg wanted to live so desperately knowing from the beginning that there was not going to be a happy ending. But even though it made me cry, I also felt happy for him because he found what he was searching for – he found his one and only great love and the love of his life, the orange girl, stayed with him until the very last moment and gave him a son through whom he is going to continue living. Through the letter he wrote to his son, he encouraged Georg to see the world differently and to find the guts to talk to a girl he fancies.
Jostein Gaarder finds the right way to combine funny, romantic and sad moments in this novel and even though there is no happy ending for the story of the orange girl, the novel still has a positive ending.
Throughout the whole story, the universe and the Hubble Space Telescope, which enables us to discover more of the universe, are playing an important role. Every once in a while, this topic comes up again between father and son and it is of great importance for their relationship. For me, this part of the story teaches us to look for the greater and to reach for the stars whenever we can. Only people who fight for what they want will be able to reach it. Even if it seems impossible to reach, it is still worth a try.
I loved the story of the orange girl because it is beautifully written, it is romantic, funny, sad and thought provoking. It has all a great novel needs to be successful. Even though, the story is pretty simple, it is certainly not a dull love story.
My Rating: ★★★☆