Sunday, June 30, 2013

Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson

With extraordinary emotional power, Linda Olsson's stunningly well-crafted debut novel recounts the unusual and unexpected friendship that develops between two women. Veronika, a young writer, rents a house in a small Swedish village as she tries to come to terms with a recent tragedy while also finishing a novel. Her arrival is silently observed by Astrid, an older, reclusive neighbor who slowly becomes a presence in Veronika's life, offering comfort in the form of companionship and lovingly prepared home-cooked meals. Set against a haunting Swedish landscape, Astrid & Veronika is a lyrical and meditative novel of love and loss, and a story that will remain with readers long after the characters' secrets are revealed.

My take: 4 looks

This was a beautifully written book. Full of description, character development and emotion, it depended solely on the movement of the characters and environment rather than action.

Two women from very different backgrounds, generations, experiences and lifestyles come together one season and forever change one another's lives.

Astrid is poignant, funny, witty, and completely endearing. The story tells of her childhood, relationships with her parents, marriage and solitary later life. Veronika is a world-traveler with close ties to her father and a lifetime ahead of her. Events bringing these two women together are completely random, yet very serendipitous.

So beautiful, and highly recommended.

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