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The plot really is about one boy Jonas, and the summer in 1948 he spends with his dad in the Norwegian woods. It's not one event that changes the direction of Jonas' life, but the discoveries that Jonas finds out over the course of the whole summer, along with events that occur that change him and his family.
The narrative is mainly told between Jonas now as an old man, and him in the summer of 1948. But there are flashbacks to just before and after that summer as well. It's not told in a horrible overworked way, but flows almost seamlessly between them all.
It's just a beautiful little book. It takes a simple story and twists and turns it into something intricate and compelling. I'm also really lucky that these last few reads had such a beautifully feeling of place, and this book is no different. You feel like you can reach out and touch the Norwegian trees, the tiny little creek and it's rowboat, the fir needles under your feet, see the almost unending twilight in the northern Norwegian summer.
Treat yourself and read it.