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April Witch

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,149 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
Desiree is an April witch, clairvoyant and omniscient, traveling through time and space into the world denied her. April Witch created a furor upon its original publication in Sweden. Addressing themes of mother-daughter relationships, competition between women, and the failures of Sweden's postwar welfare state, it is a thrillingly written and fascinating story.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 11th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1997)
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Debbie Zapata
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: saturdaymx
Review to follow...gotta get back to the garden just now.

Okay, now that my dirt work is over, I can think a bit more about this book. It tells the story of four women: Desiree, Christina, Margareta, and Birgitta. Their lives have not been easy, definitely not easy. There are some gruesome scenes here, and gory details that may make a squeamish reader close the book and turn away. But such things happen, and they are important to being able to understand the different personalities involved here
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Tonkica
Ako trazite nesto carobno, ovu knjigu preskocite.
Kada citate, a cijelo vrijeme osjecate nervozu jer jedva cekate zavrsiti.. Kada vam nije jasno zasto je ta zbrkana i naporna knjiga uopce pisana.. Znajte da vam ni kraj nece biti prijatelj.
Sandra Bašić
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Vjerujem u Boga, rekao je. Ali ljudi? Ne postoji nikakvog razloga da bi se vjerovalo ljudima. Pa oni su sposobni za sve."

Bome jesu, pa i napisati hvalospjeve na koricama knjige. Ajmo, još malo pa nestalo, kupite ljudi! Srećom, nisam ju kupila, samo posudila u knjižnici. Na spomenutim koricama čitat ćete o vješticama i natprirodnom... ako to očekujete između korica, odustanite odmah na početku. Nema toga, ni u tragovima.

A sve ostalo je zbrčkano do boli, samo autorica zna što je htjela reći ovom
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Dana
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
"Ogorčenost je jedan recidiv. On pogađa one koje ne smeju da pate do kraja. A ja sam živela u jednom vremenu koje nije priznavalo tugu, u vremenu koje je umesto toga tražilo problem. Jednostavnije je sa problemima, protiv njih se mogu preduzeti mere, ali tuga se mora proživeti."
Aubrey
I posted a comment on the only review worth reading of Me Before You about how people saying the work was acceptable representation of disabled people needed to find twenty other works that featured disabled people in prominent character positions and see how the results laid out. Did they live? Did they die? Were they similarly pressed to save the neurotypical and/or abled people the trouble of taking out the trash in order to make for a tearjerker conclusion for the myriad eugenishits in the g ...more
Neva
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Много хубав роман. Сочен. Плътен. Солидно конструиран. Главните героини са всички жени - много ми беше интересно да мога да се идентифицирам до такава степен с хора с живот, различен от моя. Преводът на Анелия Петрунова е вещ, умен, голямо удоволствие. А шведите, на които нищо човешко не им е чуждо, отдавна живеят на next level, в такива социални и лични отношения, които по нашите ширини сигурно ще си останат научна фантастика. Винаги ми е изключително любопитно и вдъхновяващо да ги погледам и п ...more
Stephanie Keil
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
April Witch

Majgull Axelsson (Translated by Linda Schenck)

I breezed through this 408 page novel in three days. Being who I am and knowing the plot of this book it is easy to understand why I devoured this book so voraciously. Originally published in Sweden in 1997, it won the coveted August Prize and created a stir in its home country, mostly due to its realistic and harsh description of Sweden’s post-war welfare state.

This book has much deeper topics to ponder than Swedish politics, though. The
...more
Elise
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Although some parts of April Witch were beautifully written, it took me way too long to read this one--an entire month--and I am usually a fast reader. It did not deliver enough of the kind of magic realism it claimed it would in its description, and it was so difficult to care about any of these prickly, superficial characters. Margareta was the best one, but not interesting enough to carry the novel.
Amanda
Apr 30, 2009 rated it liked it
It was well written and kept me reading out of suspense. I was always waiting for something to happen and it just never did. It could have been better than what it was.
Jeansue Libkind
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
In this best-selling, award-winning Swedish novel, five women encircle their lives. There is Ella, mother of Desirée and foster mother to Christina, Margareta and Birgitta. Desirée lies in a hospital bed, stricken with cerebral palsy and epilepsy since birth, mute and unmoving, but with a keen interest in the integrity of the universe and a capacity for out-of-body experience. Christina is the “good girl” whose birth mother is a fearsome hag and who determinedly succeeds. Margareta was left in a ...more
Perri
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed that, in the end, the long build-up of interlocking storylines did not amount to much. It would not have been as disappointing if there hadn't been hints magic, leading one to believe that there was some surprise just a few pages ahead. While it was interesting to see how each of the three sisters perceived themselves, how they thought of each other, and how their circumstances influenced them, ultimately that could have been done without the promise of revealing some larger s ...more
Amina Mirsakiyeva
Det var min andra boken av Majgull Axelsson. Jag gillar hennes textstil. Det är interessant bok om fyra kvinnor som har svår barnhet.
Desiree var Ellens dotter som var mycket sjuk från början. Ellen gav bort hennes dotter och sedan adopterade tre tjejer. Efter fyrtio år berätter Desiree oss om hennes systrarsliv. Deiree är aprilhäxan som kan lämna sin kropp och leva i någon annan. Hon följer dem. Hon vill vet att vem av sina systrar stal det liv som var avsett för hon.
Boken talar viktiga frågor
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Katie
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweden
3.5 stars that I was willing to round up rather than down.

April Witch is an interesting book. The story of three (four) sisters whose life paths have gone very differently, it recounts a time in late middle age where their stories converge once again. I found the characterization believable and became engrossed in the various stories of the sisters' lives. In fact, up until the last bit of the book, I was prepared to give this a Real Four Stars instead of a rounded 3.5. But in the end, the clima
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Marja
I feel so relieved for having finished this. I tried to read this 10+ years ago but couldn't finish it because it made me so anxious. Now I decided to give it another go as a book that was previously left unfinished was needed for my challenge. (This book has also been bugging me ever since I abandoned it all those years ago because I simply cannot leave books unfinished, which is ridiculous. There are so many books and so little time..)

I can't recall why this made me anxious in the first time
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Jennifer
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Axelsson displays the power of the unreliable narrator in a rarely reliable manner. This particular story is told from the perspective of four women who are loosely bonded as sisters, and yet they exquisitely fall apart. The primary (and I would argue, one of the least reliable narrators) is that of Desiree, as she is so aptly named. Her critique of her sisters, Christina, Margareta, and Birgitta is beyond troublesome, yet seductive. One wants to believe that Christina is beyond the most reliabl ...more
metaphor
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: majgull-axelsson
It is only in theory, she tells herself, that time is an illusion. To people, time is real, and therefore it is a signal of human madness to try to reach through it, for instance to try to console a twenty-years-younger edition of oneself.
*
We have spoken for days and weeks, months and years, and yet we have remained silent about the things that have burned the deepest holes in us.
*
I shriveled up. That's what happens when you abandon hope. You shrivel up.I could feel it happen [...] as if I lost
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Emona Sheeran
The book tells the story of four sisters who are very different from one another. In fact, they have no biological connection with each other, but who cares. Their names are Christina, Margareta, Birgitta and Desiree. The first three of them were raised by their foster mother Ella, but once she is seriously ill, they disperse to meet again after maybe 20 years.
The author examines the life of Christina, then Margareta, and then of Brigitta and the main view is of Desire - the girl who can not wal
...more
Losille
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3, reviewed
Dubnová čarodějka je jiná. Ta ví, kdo je. A když pozná své schopnosti, umí prohlédnout časem a plout prostorem, schovat se stejně snadno v krůpěji vody či v těle hmyzu, jako se zmocnit člověka. Ale nemá svůj vlastní život. Její tělo je vždycky slabé nedokonalé, nehybné.
– – –
Když budete číst, že jde o "příběh v tradici magického realismu", nečekejte Macondo Garcíi Márqueze. Nejde o latinskoamerický magický realismus, ale jeho vzdálenou švédskou příbuznou. Víc onen syrový severský realismus než m
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Night
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a strange and fascinating novel. A little slow in parts but well worth the read.
Maria
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-author
Tyckte den här boken var okej, den var varken dålig eller jättebra. Det jag saknade var ett riktigt slut; det kändes som att boken tog slut alldeles för fort.

Författaren har spenderat mycket tid på att bygga upp intrigen enda fram till slutet som tyvärr känns hafsigt och inte riktigt genomtänkt. Ungefär som att en deadline har närmat sig och man inte haft tid att slutföra sitt jobb. Tror boken hade mått bra av iallafall 100 sidor till.
Olga
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Книга сильная, но специфичная. Жизнь брошенных детей и неблагополучных семей.
Asha Jyothi
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was really excited when I began the book and was fervently copy-pasting highlights and quotations well into the first 100 pages but the book was ultimately disappointing because it seemed too disparate and the conclusion that the protagonist reaches towards the end seemed like something she could well have reached at the beginning, making the plot seem rather obsolete! It somehow didn't come together for me despite all its interdisciplinary borrowings and some beautiful writing.

Spoilers

The bo
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Michelle
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars for the premise(s) which were super intriguing. But I'm super disappointed that the story ended seemingly unresolved and that the idea of an april witch wasn't more expanded on. I enjoyed the different perspectives of each of the sisters, learning about their lives before, during and after being with Ella. I was hoping for closure at least, regarding them and their respective lives/relationships alone and with each other, but it seemed as if right when we should have had that closure it ...more
Janelle
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I worked in a bookstore at the time this book came out. It was on one of our displays. The cover looked so beautiful! I began reading it and was hooked. Here we are, 16 years later, and it still sticks with me. I had tried to recall the name of the book many times over the years, using various searches on google and WorldCat with no success. Thanks to a redditor at /r/whatsthatbook I will never forget again.
Helga Beuckelaers
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman
Speciaal perspectief bij tijden: als de eerste dochter van vrouw Ellen haar "zussen" volgt en ze er fratsen mee uithaalt, is dat toch wel bijzonder. Volgens mij had het verhaal zeker en vast ook verteld kunnen worden zonder deze "streken". Ofwel hadden ze net iets meer uitgewerkt kunnen worden. Naar mijn gevoel "hingen" ze tussen het verhaal, maar dat was misschien de bedoeling? Bijzonder boek. De karakters van de hoofdpersonages worden heel mooi uitgediept en doorleefd uitgeschreven.
Gina
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a translation of a book originally published in Sweden. It tells the story of Desiree, a severely disabled person who has capabilities no one realizes she has. As he lies in a hospital bed, she comes to the realization that one of her three foster sisters, who do not know of her existence (her mom gave her up at birth and then took in 3 more girls) has led the life she was supposed to lead herself.
Emilie
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jag gillade idén av boken och jag kände rätt mycket för karaktärerna och ville veta mer. Däremot blev jag stundtals tveksam över hur Desirée med CP representerades. Att ta ett handikapp och sen lägga på magiska krafter… Jag vet inte, det kändes lite tveksamt. Samma sak med hennes syster som led av missbruk.
Quanti
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm... nevím. Zajímavě napsané, sugestivní, ale asi až trochu moc té "magické" stránky a hodně depresivní. Tam vlastně není nikdo šťastný, všechny hlavní hrdinky poznamenali dysfunkční rodiče a další nepřízně osudu. Byla jsem zvědavá na rozuzlení, ale na konci vlastně jen o to smutnější a neuspokojená. Budu se radši snažit zapomenout.
Sofia W. S.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jag är helt enkelt imponerad över hur mycket man har lyckats få med i den här boken. Olika perspektiv, fast också gemenskap... Den väcker en mängd olika tankar och känslor. Det där med häxorna tyckte jag skulle kunna ha blivit lire fånigt, men det var faktiskt fint. Men det var ju historian, eller historierna, om systrarnas liv, som var bokens egentliga handling. Jag rekommenderar.
Ellinor
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helt obegripligt fantastisk. Majgull Axelsson har ett sätt att skriva som lämnar en helt andlös. Jag kunde bokstavligen inte lägga ifrån mig boken. Den är tragisk och hemsk och på något vis så otroligt nära att den gör ont, men på ett bra sätt.
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Majgull Axelsson (b. 1947) is a famous Swedish journalist and writer. She grew up in Nässjö and had education in journalism.

Her first book was non-fiction, and focused on the problems of child prostitution and street children in third world, and poverty in Sweden. April witch is her second novel, and one that was well received in Sweden. With over 400,000 copies sold in hardcover, It landed on sev
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“Only the most ignorant still believe, like Saint Augustine, that time is a river. We others know it is a delta: that it branches out and seeks new routes, that it rejoins itself only to seek a thousand new courses. Some may be waterfalls, some no more than little stagnant pools passed by the tide, forever still...

This is one of those times. A pool. I sink down in it. I want to stay forever in this water.”
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“The future was on the way, and it was as critical as a mother-in-law, expecting everything to be neat and tidy when it arrived.” 3 likes
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