The novel Snowdrop Waltz is a warm defense of poor people in Stavanger in the 1870s.
-I've wanted to describe life stories, struggling young people with an unbending will to live. Just as snowdrops break their way through the snow, - says author Dag Gustav Gundersen.
The latter half of the nineteenth century is also a particularly interesting period. The emergence of modern Norway began. And in Stavanger, everything peaked because the economy and living conditions fluctuated far more here than most other places. The herring disappeared, the tall-ship area ended, and the sardine-canning industry emerged.
-I describe ordinary people and am trying to portray society as it looked from below-from the point of so desperately poor people that we can hardly comprehend now 130 years after, - says Storla.
Simultaneously with the distress, Stavanger experienced a major revival, and new beliefs are challenging the old. This also plays a central role in Snowdrop Waltz.
-The famous author Alexander Kielland made a unilaterally negative description of the layman movement in his novels, a portrait that in many ways has been allowed to be unchallenged. However, there are a rich source material documenting the importance of the layman-temperance-and later labor movements; they can hardly be overstated when it comes to their importance to social development and democracy. At the chapel, Bethany arose the previously unthinkable communion between people of both sexes and different classes. Ordinary people spoke up in the meetings, and were able to advocate their views and proclaim their faith, - says Storla.