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Hanna's Daughters: A Novel

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,817 Ratings  ·  405 Reviews
Sweeping through one hundred years of Scandinavian history, this luminous story follows three generations of Swedish women--a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter--whose lives are linked through a century of great love and great loss. Resonating with truth and revelation, this moving novel deftly explores the often difficult but enduring ties between mothers and daughters ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published December 30th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
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Daphne I know - I also was confused and frustrated by that. I thought it alluded to Anna's fears about Sophie's relationship with Anna's husband, but what…moreI know - I also was confused and frustrated by that. I thought it alluded to Anna's fears about Sophie's relationship with Anna's husband, but what was the thing she's always known? That they were just friends? She was actually a lesbian? That he was still deeply in love with Anna? (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cynthia
Jan 11, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't get this book. The book tells the life story of 3 women Hanna (grandmother of Anna, mother to Joanna), Joanna (other of Anna), and Anna living in Sweden.

What I liked about the book: Hanna's lifestory was very interesting. Born to a poor country family during the last half of 1800's, Hanna's life was a grim struggle. She was a servant for her uncle and cruel aunt. She was raped, then viewed as a whore by the town, and had a boy by the time she was 13 years old. Later she married the mil
...more
Corinne
I'm still reeling from the depth of this book. Hanna's Daughters is a story of three generations of Swedish women, trying their hardest to find out who they are in a world that never seems to fit them completely. Hanna, Johanna and Anna - grandmother, mother and daughter, their lives winding through Swedish history: war and famine, prosperity and vague pleasures, from a mountain cabin on a lake in the mid 1800s to the streets of modern Göteborg.

The narrative is both personal and real, each women
...more
Laurel-Rain
Dec 16, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three generations of Swedish women whose lives are linked through a century of great love and great loss vividly people this family saga.

Told from the points of view of Hanna, her daughter Johanna, and granddaughter Anna, "Hanna's Daughters: A Novel" is a spellbinding tale that almost immediately grabs the reader.

In the beginning, we meet Johanna, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and visited by her daughter Anna, a writer who is divorced from her husband Rikard and is the mother of two daught
...more
Iris
Aug 28, 2009 Iris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hanna's Daughters: A Novel of Three Generations is the type of book that one would expect to be on Oprah's book club list, due to its focus on women's histories and lives. Beginning in 1871 and ending in 1986 the lives of Hanna, Johanna, and Anna are traced through personal and social history. Hanna's story is told in a narrative story form, but Johanna and Anna speak from the first person. There is a thread of magic running through the book which never quite solidifies, but maybe that is requ ...more
Cissy
Feb 07, 2008 Cissy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time figuring out if I liked this or not. It's the story of a grandmother, her daughter, and her daughter, starting with the grandmother (Hanna) when she was a child. It takes place in Sweden (it is actually a translation of a Swedish book) and I liked the history and culture. I would not say it is historical fiction, though. I just mean since it covered something like 120 years, it was interesting seeing how things changed (and didn't). However, almost all the relationships are ser ...more
Kirsten
Apr 12, 2011 Kirsten rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-own
This book is about three generations of Swedish women starting from the tough life of a farmer's wife to the city transplant and the development of modern urban life and socialism in Sweden. I am not so much interested in Swedish history and farm life as I am in Norwegian farm life, but the setting for the first generation turns out to be on the Norwegian border and to be not far away from the town my mother was born in.

The book is framed by Anna, the third generation who is writing a book abou
...more
Calzean
The book has its moments as it described the life of Hanna (born 1871 in the north of Sweden), her daughter and granddaughter.
There is some insight into life in Sweden, the harshness of life in the 1800s/1900s and the gradual improvement in living conditions.
The language to me was a bit flat and the characters were quite bland.
Adri
Nov 27, 2011 Adri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book started off rather slowly and was quite confusing at first - especially since the three women had such similar names - Hanna, Johanna and Anna - and there being a number of other characters with the same names. However, once that gets sorted out one is really drawn into the story which is sad beyond words, but also rather beautiful.

Definitely an author whose other books I will read. I find it very interesting to read about countries other than those which are anglophone as it is almost
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Hanna's Daughters, Marianne Fredriksson (1927)
عنوان: دختران هانا؛ نویسنده: ماریانه فردریکسون؛ مترجم: مهشید میرمعزی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، روزنه، 1381، در 480 ص، اندازه 19 در 5/11 س.م.، شابک: 9643341054؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی قرن 20 م
داستان سه نسل از زنان سوئد است
Camie
Mar 29, 2014 Camie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spanning 100 years this is a good book about the lives of three remarkable Scandinavian women over three generations. I love books like this that show the natural progression of life, what we leave behind and what we take with us. 4 stars
Brenna Bonner
Mar 13, 2008 Brenna Bonner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all families
A memoir of a family on the Norway/Sweden boarder by the 4 generations of women, Maja-Lisa, Hanna, Johanna, and Anna. The author reveals how generational differences within a family can cause misunderstandings and strain. How can one transition from a farming life to city life? How can children who grew up in town relate to their grandparents/parents who seem "country" and "uneducated"? How can the grandparents/parents help their children navigate a completely unknown world that doesn't value th ...more
Jacki
Dec 08, 2008 Jacki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, this book was stunning. Maybe because it was given to me by my mom a couple of weeks ago after she read it... just knowing that she read it and it touched her enough for her to give it to me...

This is the story of 3 generations of women and how they related to each other. It was neat to hear about it from the mother's point of view and then from the daughter's.... and it made me want to know more about my grandmother who has been dead since I was very young.

Beyond the story (which I lov
...more
Heidi
Feb 15, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. It was amazing to see how much change took place over the course of these three women's lives and also how much stayed the same. I love the superstitious little things that were in there too. I love how all the men think the women are filled with secrets and the women are surprised when they hear this.
Petra
Aug 15, 2016 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een prachtige roman over een familiegeschiedenis van grootmoeder naar moeder naar dochter. Het verhaal laat zien hoeveel we meekrijgen van onze voorouders. Hoewel het verhaal verzonnen is geloof je de gebeurtenissen en leef je sterk mee met de drie sterke dames. Vooral het verhaal van Hanna, wat volgens mij ook het langst was, heeft veel negatieve momenten en maakt haar erg sterk. De vrouwen zijn ietwat lastig te pijlen. Hanne wordt beschreven, Johanna beschrijft zichzelf en Anna combineert het ...more
Amber
Mar 12, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was completely drawn into the wonderfully told stories of each generation of women. At the same time, watching how each woman reacted in their relationships with their parents, spouses and children was very insightful. Each generation thought she was more modern that her parents, but in the end realizing they were all the same and each were strong women. Definitely enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to my friends.
Márcia
Apr 05, 2015 Márcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorei o livro e recomendo vivamente.
Lee
Feb 14, 2014 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


Scandinavian story of the roll of women over three generations. Also explores the complex relationship between mothers, daughters, and grandmothers. Confusing at times, perhaps the translation or the writing, but I just didn't get what the author meant. Otherwise enjoyed the story and the historical allusions.
Allisonpatrick
Apr 15, 2015 Allisonpatrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book and then put it aside, I came back to it a few weeks and I am so glad that I did. Fredriksson weaves a tale of three generations of Swedish women. The characters have such depth that they can't help but ring true with aspects of yourself or those that you know. Demonstrates well that who we become is based not only on our genetics but more likely on patterns of observed behavior that are repeated. For those who have aging parents this book will force you to stop and look at t ...more
Susan
Jul 22, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps because my paternal grandparents came to America from Sweden, I was very interested in this book. Following the women of three generations, you can see how lifestyles, attitudes and politics influence their lives. It kept my interest throughout. However, I did not "like" all of the women equally.I also enjoyed the portrayal of the relationships with the men that were the fathers, husbands, brothers and friends. This book did not shy away from topics such as abuse, rape, abortion, murder- ...more
Belinda
Promising story, but I felt it must have lost some depth in translation as I felt there could have been so much more. Allthough I found lives of the 3 women interesting from a social and historical point of view I did not really connect with any of them.
Melinda
This was my second time reading Hannah's daughters; the first was way back in the late 1990's when it was released. My interest in both Sweden and fiction caused me to make the purchase. This time my spark of interest was being able to re-read the story (which I did not remember) while traveling about the parts of Sweden mentioned in the story line.

The book examines mother-daughter relationships within the backdrop of Swedish history from the late 1800s through the early 1990s. Parts of the sto
...more
Mimi
Nov 13, 2013 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
This tied in, unintentionally, with a recent retreat I attended. The story of three generations of women who live in Sweden, the earlier family at the border of Norway. It made me think a lot about how our family history affects our family story.
Ivaylo Todorov
Aug 18, 2015 Ivaylo Todorov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Това е първата ми книга от тази авторка. Съжалявам, че едва след като прочетох книгата се запознах и с автобиографията. Намерих много от себе си. Съумява да потопи в миналото, като започва от края на 19 в. Предава толкова леко чувствата, настроенията, нагласите на времето, а описанията и не са тежки, мудни и сложни. Сякаш гледах филм, от образ в образ. Сякаш четях мислите на героите. И сякаш живеех с тях. Познаването на човешката психика, изразено в мислите и като контраст на периода, в който се ...more
Kate Millin
Sep 09, 2014 Kate Millin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A loved this story about the detailed lives if 3 generations of Swedish women, with a 4th generation appearing too showing the great differences in life from the 1890's to the 1980's. It also shows how changing life expectations can affect the relationships between the generations, but also how family values can keep families together or make family members difficult to live with. The harshness but practicality of the life for Hannah the matriarch of the group is beatifully written - including t ...more
Karen Dekkers
ik ben blij dat ik hem gelezen heb. maar naast dat het een bijzonder verhaal over vrouwenlevens in verschillende tijden is is het ook wel heftig met alle geschiedenis op de achtergrond.
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookreaderljh
Hanna's Daughters does exactly what the title says. It tells the story of Hannah from childhood to old age and her daughter Johanna (ditto) and finally a look at the life of the granddaughter Anna as she compiles the 3 generation story. It is set in Norway and Sweden at the turn of the twentieth century up until the century's end. Because of the Norwegian setting, I did learn some history and the story of Hannah was the most interesting as it showed the life of children and women during that ear ...more
Donna
Jun 23, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tale begins and ends in 1986 in a nursing home in Sweden. The story in between the beginning and the end is fascinating. At the beginning Anna is visiting her mother, Johanna, who has Alzheimers and is unable to communicate with words. Anna has questions she would like to ask her mother. When she was younger Anna had always seen her mother as a mother, not as a person, and never had time to ask. Now Anna is trying to understand, is searching and is writing about her mother, her grandmother ...more
Morninglight Mama
Jan 20, 2016 Morninglight Mama rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a perfect book to read around Mother's Day, as it truly made me reflect on the roles we moms play in our children's lives... and the myriad of long-term effects we can have on the choices they make. This book may take place in a different time and place than my life, but I could make connections nonetheless. Even when I couldn't directly relate to the characters' experiences, I was still drawn to them and enjoyed attempting to figure them out. Sidenote-- one day I asked my son to get this b ...more
Maxine Hawker
Aug 16, 2015 Maxine Hawker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has given me much to ponder. It covers four generations of women spanning approximately 100 years. It takes the reader back to vastly different times for women. The struggles women had in the past, labour the point that the environment impacts profoundly on who we are and our life's outcomes It also ignites a poignant reflection regarding generational changes; offspring have such different eyes and context which results In an inability to truly relate to or understand their parent.

One
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2015 Reading Chal...: Hanna's Daughters by Marianne Fredrikkson 3 16 Feb 23, 2015 02:08PM  
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Marianne Fredriksson was a Swedish author who worked and lived in Roslagen and Stockholm. Before becoming a novelist, she was a journalist on various Swedish newspapers and magazines, including Svenska Dagbladet.

Fredriksson published fifteen novels, most of which have been translated into English, German, Dutch and other languages. Most of her earlier books are based on biblical stories. A central
...more
More about Marianne Fredriksson...

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“She had realized there are only fragments, that 'memories' always consist of fragments the mind puts together into a pattern, adapts a picture staked out early without the need for a conenction with anything that really happened. A great deal is misunderstood by small children, then stored as images that attract similar images, confirming and reinforcing.” 10 likes
“I recognized everything, the waterfall and the lakes, the trees and paths. But they had forgotten me. That was bitter and I cried a lot. One should never return to sacred places.” 9 likes
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