The Isthmus – the birth of a story


On returning from a post-doc sojourn from Australia in 2000, I moved with my family back to Jacqueline’s home town of Thyborøn, where we live precariously and happily clinging to the storm-blown western edge of Denmark.

In 2011 I was asked to arrange a guided tour of Thyborøn for a visiting group from Japan, and I jotted down a mindmap of “the breathtaking high points of Jutland’s story … its geographical origins in a tropical ocean to the development of salt deposits, limestone, flint and volcanic ash layers; from the formation of amber and its lure for Roman traders through the dynamic development of Bronze Age farmers to Viking explorers; from the arduous life of fjord-fishermen, farmers and cattle drovers to West Jutland’s pivotal role in the dramatic events of both World Wars.”

Thyborøn 2011

And with that, an idea was born – to write a novel: a historic portrait of the development of a land and its people,  tracing the saga of a community fighting to establish its place in a bold and hostile environment by following the lives of two West Jutland families from the Stone Age to the present.




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