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
Popular Answered Questions
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
" '... when I listen to my own words, I realise that they tell a different story from the one I have carried all these years. ... I think that if we can find the words, and if we can find someone to tell them ...more
-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 learned about thei ...more
Come, sit by me, and I shall tell you all my sorrows; we shall talk to each other about secrets. p. 63 quote from Edith Sodergran's Sorger (Sorrows), 1916.
As the title suggests, this is a gentle song of a book. It's a quiet story about two women, one in her thirtieth year and the other decades older, helping each other through terrible losses merely by being present to one another. Veronika and Astrid meet as new neighbours who are situated on a hillside overlooking a mountain town in Sweden. E ...more
The author is Swedish but now lives in New Zealand and the book is set in both places, but most ...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
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.
At book club last night I revisited this book...interesting how i totally ignored Veronika's one big secret in my review above...hmmm.
As their friendship evolves during the course of a year, and with all the changes each season brings, they begin to change in different ways. Astrid, who has been a virtual recluse, surprises herself when she goes over to Veronika's house out of a sense o ...more
I'd very much like to experience more of Olsson's work.
Even when the characters are reliving traumatic events, the ...more
Some of my favorites:
"You can become aware of the small kindnesses, the little comforts. Be ...more
The story is set in Sweden, where a young writer, Veronika, has rented a summer home, to work on her novel. She develops an unlikely friendship with a solitary older woman who lives in a lonely house near her in the countryside.
I love the friendship that ...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
While I don't mind being left with an unanswered question or two at the end of a good book, I took away a star here for there being to ...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
Problems: A lingering issue of sexual abuse was han ...more