Danish Connection

The Dansgaard Family Saga

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
555 Pages
Reviewed on 10/09/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bernadette Longu for Readers' Favorite

In Danish Connection, Keith Thye has taken a very intriguing topic that can be a minefield and treated it with the utmost care and respect. When writing about the history of places, people, or even families, it can be quite a journey, and any author needs to tread lightly. The author has achieved this in writing with such tenderness, humor, and regard for his characters. From the first page to the last, the main characters take the reader by the hand and lead them through the story, allowing for side trips but always bringing the reader back with gentle humor and understanding. The author allows each character to tell their story in their own unique way along with the history of the era.

What an amazing book to read about the Dansgaard family. Danish Connection: The Dansgaard Family Saga by Keith Thye takes place between the years of 1914 to 2001 and it is interspersed with the history of these times and how it affected each character. There is sadness and joy, but the author ends the book in such a surprising way that it will make the reader go back to start reading again as there is so much of the family’s life hidden between the pages and lines. Thank you for the awe-inspiring read. I really enjoyed it.

K.C. Finn

Danish Connection: The Dansgaard Family Saga is a work of fiction in the historical and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by Keith Thye. In this epic family epic that spans almost a century of history from 1916 to 2001 and beyond, we find ourselves following patriarch Bjorn and his many descendants. The first half of the tale takes us through the tensions of the First and Second World Wars, discussing religious and cultural attitudes, after which the remaining descendants make the shift to America, where a very different but equally tumultuous political climate awaits them.

I found this engaging novel to be a story of two halves, but not in the timeline sense. Rather, there are two intricate stories laid over one another. First, there is the dramatic and interesting tale of the various members of the Dansgaard family – their hopes, their struggles, their loves, and losses – but second, the novel takes the history of the twentieth century and runs it through a powerfully human lens. I was fascinated by the way that family history influenced attitudes, both in the traditions that remained and those that were challenged and changed along the way. Keith Thye made astute connections to history, politics, social justice, and racial injustice that make it all the more relevant and memorable as a reading experience. I would not hesitate to recommend Danish Connection to fans of accomplished historical fiction and emotive family saga stories alike.

Foluso Falaye

Danish Connection: The Dansgaard Family Saga by Keith Thye is an intriguing historical novel that spans eight decades, beginning with Bjorn's participation in World War I on Germany's side and ending with diverse outcomes for Bjorn and his family in the United States. The characters live through significant historical events such as the two World Wars, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Vietnam War, the 1950s Las Vegas casino boom, and more. Suicide, substance abuse, racism, grief, war, and uncontrolled tempers are among the serious topics addressed. We also witness the characters fall in love, experience the joys of parenting, learn new languages, travel to foreign countries, prosper in business, and enjoy other wonderful aspects of life.

The events in Danish Connection are so well integrated that I had to double-check historical data to distinguish between actual and fictional material. Each character stands out due to their unique personality, such as Tor, who is described as being a troublemaker and confrontational. Family is a prominent theme, and we see a dramatic and touching sequence of events that is bound to elicit an emotional response from the reader. I alternated between tightening up, breathing with relief, wincing in terror, and undergoing a variety of emotions as the book had me completely engaged. I appreciated the crucial teachings about focusing on commonalities rather than picking out racial disparities and other differences. Keith Thye undoubtedly conducted extensive research and tapped deeply into his creative side.