Danish Connection: The Dansgaard Family Saga

Keith Thye

Publisher: Classic Day Publishing Pages: 555 Price: (ebook) $12.95 ISBN: 9781598493436 Reviewed: June, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

Author Keith Thye took inspiration from an anecdote in his wife’s background to generate a family chronicle in Danish Connection: The Dansgaard Family Saga.

A hefty tome, this work is Thye’s attempt the bring readers on a journey with generations of the fictional Dansgaard family, beginning with patriarch Bjorn in the trenches of WWI and culminating with the outcomes of Bjorn’s descendants at the turn of the 21st century. While the goal is to weave history into the fictional narrative, the book falls short of cohesively doing so.

Diving into Bjorn’s experience, Thye immediately immerses readers in the era. However, once the timeframe is established, he abruptly switches genres into a pedantic recitation of historical facts and figures before returning to the fictional narrative. This becomes the book’s pattern and holds true even when the facts are delivered via a character’s dialogue. In one instance, for example, Bjorn recites a stilted list of Hitler’s philosophies within his conversation to try to encourage a Jewish friend to relocate to a safer area.

In addition, it’s jarring when characters speak of historical incidents in a way they could not have known from their vantage points in their time. For example, Bjorn could not refer to the war as WWI since at that point there wasn’t a second world war with which to compare.

Finally, Thye’s thorough research obstructs the narrative. For example, he awkwardly weaves excerpts from some of the source material into the story, such as citing a history book of U.S. German prisoner camps immediately after discussing one of the characters and his experience in one.

Overall, this offering feels more like a novel with textbook-like historical information overlaid on it rather than smoothly integrated into it. While readers will find the book full of useful facts and figures, those looking for a family tale with fully developed characters and dialogue may want to skip this one.

Also available as ebook

Author's Current Residence
Rushton, Washington