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4.48  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Hidden in the forest of Sweden, a country church gleams white, as stark and resilient as the Lutheran faith that sustains it. The First World War rages on the continent. Anna, in the front pew, refuses to accept the age-old beliefs the village hands her.
Sixty years later, Anna gives refuge to a young niece, whose marriage is falling apart. Fredrik, Anna's lover, is l
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Bedazzled Ink Publishing
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Average rating 4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  25 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Sam Law

This novel is set in rural Sweden, in a town called Hult, and a timeline that spans both World Wars up to the 1970’s.

Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read

We follow the story of Anna, daughter of the local village leader Grim Larsson (aka Rammen), as she comes of age against a backdrop of a rigid class system, political upheaval, recession and very hard times. The story shows how the choices we make can define and confine us, but also how society has its own pressures./>Read
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-drama
A very moving story set in an unfamiliar land and time. Anna Larrson is the youngest daughter in her family, her father being a respected member of their small village. Life revolves around their church in more ways than one. Alternating between the period just before WWI and present, one can visualize the people, their difficult lives in hard times, how gossip abounds in a small village and the price one pays to go against the grain of society.
Mary Visher
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. At first I didn't "get it", but about a third of the way through I began to see patterns and meaning (including why it's called Fylgia) and got completely hooked. This complex novel weaves big societal themes (sexism, class, rural vs urban) together with existential questions (like fate versus human choice, love, meaning) into a rich, exquisitely detailed, and tragic story in a setting obviously deeply familiar to the author. Don't just read it. Read it slowly, and savor each ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Fylgia and don’t know where to begin! So many thoughts twirling around my head...for me the sign of a really good book. Not just the story (but WHAT a story) leaves me with so many things to ponder about the way in which life moves over us. Do we really have choices?? And, of course, I am sad to come to the end. I enjoyed being in Hult...and loved seeing so many seasons at Ramm. I could smell it!
Susan Malone
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is simply stunning. We follow Anna as she faces an unrelenting father in an era when women were valued for their chastity, and as wives and mothers, pretty much only. But Anna has other plans. She sees a bigger world, challenged by the ideas of Nietzsche and a strange man who comes into the midst of their conventional village.
The love, loss, and heartache here will take your breath away. Just beautifully written, by an author who has come into her own.
Hal Len
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I did take my time reading Fylgia. Fylgia is that kind of rare book, that while you know you want to find out what it is all about, the process of reading slowly is satisfying in itself. Birgitta Hjalmarson draws you in – into a story of Anna, her family and her village as a part of Sweden.

Fylgia unfolds within two timelines. In one we find Anna as an old woman in mourning and in the other we meet Anna as a young woman searching for her own kind of life. As a young woman she yearns f
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
So glad to read about people who could be my relatives -- there are not many books about women's issues, politics and society in rural communities like this one in Sweden. Set in the early 1900s, the events of this novel provide a close look at real lives and the real problems that have been, thankfully, addressed to some degree over the last century: birth control, women's legal rights, the oppressiveness of religious and social taboos and even the social change associated with industrializatio ...more
Dede Montgomery
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading Fylgia, and had a hard time putting it down. It flows seamlessly through the time periods, expertly weaving backstory into the storyline, and leaving the reader with clear descriptions of the Swedish landscape. As a reader I felt I had just enough to move through the storyline, while the plot still withheld surprises to keep me turning pages. Thank you to this author for writing my favorite type of book: one that makes me think, question and learn.
Carleen Keating
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fylgia is a fascinating and beautifully written tale of a woman looking back on her life as a pregnant, unwed mother in rural Sweden during World War l. Birgitta Hjalmarson’s descriptions of rural life and nature are vividly memorable. C. Keating
Deborah Tierney
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read Fylgia quickly because I sometimes need to devour books. Then, I read it again slowly. Carefully researched- - - it inspired me to do some research of my own. Thank you for this compelling and thoughtful book.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully constructed drama, simmering in an unfamiliar setting. Best not disregard a character that seems insignificant when first introduced. Turn of the century rural Sweden is culturally foreign, and this tale is the more compelling for it. Take time to enjoy gifted writing.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well researched, very descriptive. Excellent writing, full of metaphors. It's a history lesson of the customs and morals of early 1900s Sweden.
Janet Kitchens
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is magical, the way she brings Anna's world to life for us. We see nature and feel it just the way Anna did. We feel love and betrayal exactly the way Anna felt it. We mourn loss and harbor bitterness exactly the way she did.
This book is fierce, and tender, and resolute. Just like Sweden.
Helen Hollick
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs
"Within just a few short pages, I was drawn fully into this world. Birgitta Hjalmarson writes evocatively of what to me is a foreign land: Sweden."
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Can't say the pace of the story grabs you by the lapels, but it's beautifully written. If you love description, this book is for you.
Pamela Reitman
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was enthralled by FYLGIA. It starts quietly, gathers as it goes, and is so moving, as the author frames the past (Sweden, World War I) with another in the present, which is more than mere reflection by a longshot. When Anna decides to go up against the village of Hult for the sake of love, she must pay a high price, one that is slowly revealed in beautiful story-telling and prose. I loved the ever-presence of nature and being transported into the thrum of village and farm life, the way everyon ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Sometimes it was hard to follow the book. Chronologically it went back and forth, and sometimes I didn't understand what was going on. Full of hard times; little emotion in the Swedish folks. I certainly know and this book has helped me to understand my family much better. It is not a book to read if you are depressed.
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