Camilla – Without Filter – Camilla Herrem

Good morning guys!

Yesterday the Norwegian handball team won the European Championship, and the game was a little too exciting to watch! There were periods where I was barely able to look at the screen because it was so even! Now, I’ve finished a new book, a biography that didn’t quite feel like a biography. It felt more like a long chat with a good friend, a friend that plays for the champion team. I do not know Camilla personally, I’ve only stalked her and the Norwegian national handball team through my TV screen every Christmas but after reading this book I feel like I know her better, at least the literate way. I had very high hopes for this book, and I’m so glad it met my expectations! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads and translated by me:

This is the story of Camilla Herrem. It begins the day her parents, with mild force, convinces her to leave her childhood home at Sola so she can enter the world and get the opportunity to become one of the greatest handball players in Norway.

We as readers joins in behind the scenes of four clubs in four different countries. We meet her husband Steffen and son Theo. We meet Lykke, the dog with its wavy fur, who’s been everywhere from Trondheim to Romania, Denmark and Macedonia. This is the story of a caring yet demanding top athlete, and the story of the championships which has made the Norwegian National Female Handball team a property of the people. Within this team, Camilla Herrem, who several times have been elected the world’s greatest wing player, has always been at the forefront with song and the center of the party after every World-, Olympic-, and European Championship gold medal.

She’s the idol for hundreds, maybe thousands, of young handball players who all measure themselves against her abilities. She’s aware of this role and practition it with merciless honesty, as is her way, without compromising with anyone.

Camilla – Without Filter indeed! This is the woman who’s always spoken her mind in the media and I’ve always loved her for it! I think it’s so healthy to have people who don’t give a damn, at least to some extent, and don’t bow for the journalist question traps which occasionally is put out there. I love how Camilla portrays different aspects of how it is being a professional handball player – like how it is to become a mom and still be active within her sport. Its been some discussions in the media about this for a little while because several of the women who plays for the national team has become mom’s over the past couple of years but I’ve always known this discussion from what has been expressed in the media. As I’m not a mom I can’t relate to the issues but I think it is important to highlight these sort of things. Sometimes I feel like people can have a Stone Age view on something as natural as giving birth. Another thing Camilla shares with the readers is the long distance relationship she has with her husband Steffen over the years as they’re both professional handball players. This is something I can relate to and I think she portrays it very well! Instead of focusing on all the negative aspects that might arise she focuses on the opportunity it gives her. Of course the mention of loneliness and longing is there but it doesn’t take up a whole amount of space which I believe is healthy for people to read about. Long distance is hard but if it is the right person it can be done!

This book feels like you’re having a chat with a stranger whom you only know the face of, and I wish more biographies could be like this. Within the first 20 pages I was almost crying and this happened several times during the book. Camilla lost her father not so long ago and it shines through the pages how much he meant, and still means, to her. His presence sort of shapes the whole book but it is neatly balanced with everything else in my opinion. Another thing that shines through the pages is Camilla, at least as I visualize her to be based on the book and from what I’ve seen on TV. You actually get a sense of her persona and there are smaller things like words written in her accent or greater things like her personality that I’ve only seen on TV before. It was a fun book for me to read because, as a handball enthusiast and student player, I recognized several names of other handball players, clubs and championships Camilla has played in. I remember the games, the medals, and even some of the goals. It’s a tradition for me to watch the championship taking place during advent every year, and one I treasure greatly along with so many other Norwegians!

Camilla – Without Filter is a truly enjoyable book! The pages flew by and I was barely able to put it down. It is well written, easy to read, and allows for Camilla’s personality to shine through. If you’re wondering what to give a handball-loving friend for Christmas I sincerely recommend you to gift this book!

Published: 2020

Genre: Biography

Theme: Handball, family

– The Book Reader

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