Astrid and Veronika
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 from New Zealand, 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...more
This novel emerged from a First Novel writing workshop and I'm sorry it was allowed to enter the world instead of being mercifully smothered in a drawer. Well-worn plots (sensitive woman who has endured a Great Tragedy runs away and encounte...more
At book club last night I revisited this book...interesting how i totally ignored Veronika's one big secret in my review above...hmmm.
-come sit by me, and i shall tell you all my sorrows; we shall talk to each other about secrets.
-my life now consists of fragments, where some are so blinding in their intensity that they make everything else indistinguishable. what shall i do with these glittering shards? there is no pattern; i can't make them fit. with each other, or with the whole that should be my life. it feels as if my existence was extinguished in a flash, and afterwards my universe became incomprehen...more
I can't wait but I have two to read first....
Well worth the wait. I had previously read Linda Olsen's second book and loved it. I now see that in her second book she built on the first refining her skill. That is the descriptive narrative of places she has been. The sensuous quality she adopts to describes a place is stunning. In this book I feel I would recognize the part of Swe...more
Veronika, a 30-year-old Swedish writer, rents a home in a remote village to finish work on her second novel. Her only neighbor for miles is Astrid, a reclusive octogenarian who has earned a reputation (perhaps undeserved) as the village witch. Veronika and Astrid gradually become friends, taking long walks and sipping wine made from the wild strawberries in Astrid's garden. Each shares painful secrets along the way.
I liked this book and the writing was truly beautiful. I enjoyed how t...more
The author is Swedish but now lives in New Zealand and the book is set in both places, but most...more
This book is written in such a way that I want to go back and copy parts of it; so poetic and grand.
I recommend this book for anyone who has felt a loss and the accompanying hopelessness that goes along with it. It may just provide you with the spark of hope you needed or the breath of love that was always there.
Problems: A lingering issue of sexual abuse was han...more
Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs
Late winter, and a young woman drives from Stockholm through the snow and gathering dark to a farmhouse for some kind of retreat. Veronika, the well-travelled daughter of a diplomat, has returned to Sweden to come to terms with a tragedy in her recent past, and strikes up an unlikely friendship with her elderly next-door neighbour, the 'village witch'. The reclusive As...more
So, where exactly did Olsson fail so utterly on this? The writing, that's what it comes down to. The story is not the biggest catcher but it drew my attention in the first place, I loved the idea of combining Sweden and New Zealand in the exploration of the friendship of two women who overcame a great tragic in both the...more
Description: Astrid and Veronika are neighbors, both wishing to live in seclusion, but somehow coming together to form a friendship. Although Astrid has lived in the same area her whole life and is coming to the end of her years, and Veronika has travelled all over the world and has many years to live, both are grieving and in danger of cutting themselves off from the world. Watching them move gradually toward friendship, the reader gets to know them as they become acquainted with one another, b...more
This is the story of a remarkable friendship that is formed in a small Swedish village. Veronika is a writer from New Zealand who has recently faced tragedy. Astrid is an older woman who is alone and is viewed as a recluse. Astrid and Veronika are complete opposites who come together to help each other move on in their lives...more
Brie's rating: 2 stars
The cover of this book caught my eye. While my sense of interest in the book (created by the cover image) did not carry on evenly throughout the novel, the image did speak to what I found to be the most evocative relationship in the novel, that of the human to landscape/natural world. Set outside a small town in Sweden, the main characters seem to share little else, initially, than their desires to escape into their own worlds. Veronik...more
Some of my favorites:
"You can become aware of the small kindnesses, the little comforts. Be...more
"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 from New Zealand, rents a house in a small Swedish village as she tries t...more
Even when the characters are reliving traumatic events, the...more
But I did love this book. I've read a few Scandinavian authors and they've all conveyed a sort of wide-open spare wildness both geographically and emotionally. No gushiness but sincerity and a quiet love. Not romantic love but the strong time-tested kind.
These are my people and I have...more