Maria Parr: WAFFLE HEART

Cover of 'Waffle Heart'Vaffelhjarte
Published by Samlaget, 2005

One thing Trille knows for sure: that his great aunt makes the world’s best waffles. He is sure, too, that Knert-Mathilde is a wonderful place in which to live – and that his neighbour, Lena Lid, is his best friend. But he is anything but sure that he is her best friend. And when Lena asks him exactly why he wants a father, although he has one, Trille isn’t sure about that, either.

In this book we follow the escapades of two resourceful nine-year-olds through a whole tumultuous year. Trille and Lena know all too well how to create a rumpus and keep things humming. Moreover, there’s a grandfather living in the basement who is ever ready to join them in their pranks, so it’s not surprising that things often get a little out of hand in the small bay where they live. But in between all the frolicking and laughter Trille tells of the sadder and more sombre aspects of his nine-year-old life, and of his fear of losing those he loves. A charming and humorous début work. Nominated to The Brage Prize (The Norwegian Publishers’ Association Prize, 2005).

Rights sold to Russia, Sweden, France, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Serbia, Japan, Catalonia, China, Ukraine, Portugal, UK, USA, Czech, Iceland, South Korea, Sami language, Estonia, Bulgaria, Italy, India (Hindi), Slovenia, Georgia, Macedonia, Latvia, Spain, Turkey.

From the reviews: Adventures with Waffles. When readers meet nine-year-old Trille and his best friend Lena, Lena is barely hanging onto the rope they have strung between their houses’ second-floor windows, and Trille is frantically hauling his parents’ mattress down the stairs and out to the yard to save her. It’s a fitting introduction, since Lena races headlong into every crazy scheme they concoct, with Trille following close behind. Set in a tiny seaside community in Norway, the story contains other adventures, such as the duo’s amusing attempt to re-create Noah’s Ark with a rowboat and livestock. Although two events threaten to overwhelm Trille with a sense of loss, one ends well and, after the other, he finds comfort in family and friends. Trille’s accessible first- person narrative shares both his adventures and his feelings, which run the gamut from terror to grief to elation. Parr creates a strong sense of the characters as individuals, especially Lena, Trille, and Trille’s grandfather. For all its emotional resonance, the narrative is never soppy. In fact, humour plays a big part in this rewarding book. Published first in Norway and translated into 20 languages, this appealing chapter book has a distinctive setting, plenty of humour, and unusual emotional clarity. ” Review by Carolyn Phelan  in BOOKLIST, May 2015.

Maria Parr (photo: Anne Brun)
Maria Parr (photo: Anne Brun)

Maria Parr (b. 1981) has master’s degree in Nordic languages and literature, and she is currently part time teacher in the secondary school.