Once in a Blue Moon Lodge

Lorna Landvik | 4/19/2017, midnight
No matter how old you are, you never get tired of hearing your birth story. It’s a story of anticipation ...

No matter how old you are, you never get tired of hearing your birth story. It’s a story of anticipation that’s different from every other on the planet. You’re at the center of it, though not quite. It’s a story you can never tell first-hand and, as in “Once in a Blue Moon Lodge” by Lorna Landvik, it’s only a beginning.

In writing down the Dobbin-Strand-Rolvaag family stories, Nora Rolvaag had crossed off more than she’d actually left on the page.

She’d promised herself that she’d have a book completely done by the time her triplets turned eighteen. She knew that Sena, Grace, and Ulla would each want different things from the family tales. But what would Nora tell?

Grace would require romance in the story, so Nora would write about how Thomas came to be the girls’ father. She’d remember to include how Nora’s grandmother, Ione, was betrayed by her own cousin, though everyone knew how that story ended. She’d explain how friendships sparked and why Patty Jane, Nora’s mother, loved two men, one of whom could barely remember her.

Ulla would want the story to include humor, so Nora would write about how the Once in a Blue Moon Lodge landed practically in her lap. She’d write of the eccentric woman who made Nora a steal-of-a-deal offer after a random kindness in the snow, and how an Ocean came to be located in Northern Minnesota.

Nora’s firstborn, Sena, would want to know everything, warts and all. So how could Nora forget to include the story of when Lewis became a part of the family? Or the House of Curls, Etc., and its importance? Or how Ione, well into her senior years, wanted to make a difference, and started the OBFC (Old Bags Filled with Change)?

There were so many things Nora wanted to tell her daughters; things that would stay with them as they left the nest. She wanted to tell them about new family, but also about loss. She’d write of opportunity, of sickness and health.

And absolutely, she’d tell her girls about happily ever after.

There are two kinds of people who read books by author Lorna Landvik: those who are gasping in anticipation, because they know these characters … and those who are fans, but just don’t realize it yet.

Readers in the former camp can just get the car keys. Get outta here. Go get your book.

If you fall in the latter category, you should know that this story may sometimes seem clichéd, or maybe a little silly, neither of which it really is. Sure, there’s some weirdness here, and some Only-in-Minnesota-ness. Uffda, it’s quirk-to-the-max, but mostly, “Once in a Blue Moon Lodge” is like warm cookies and fleecy jammies. It’s comfortable, and it’s familiar, sad and funny, and filled with good people.

Yes, this is a sequel but don’t fret. You’ll get caught up in short order, and you’ll get wrapped up even faster. Storytelling like you’ll find in “Once in a Blue Moon Lodge,” it never gets old.