Read Die Dorfhexe by Linda Olsson Almuth Carstens Online


Veronika 32, a writer whose boyfriend just drowned in New Zealand, rents a house in a small Swedish village next door to recluse Astrid 81. They share walks, meals, wine, and dangerous memories. Includes 11 page reader's guide for literature teachers and students....

Title : Die Dorfhexe
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9783442739349
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 251 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Die Dorfhexe Reviews

  • Elyse
    2019-02-11 23:51

    Many thanks to Jenny for telling me about this lovely novel by Swedish born novelist, Linda Olsson. Veronica, is a young writer who came to New Zealand - rented a small house in a small village in Sweden. She was hoping to reconcile a recent tragedy while finishing her latest novel. She had dreams of the beach and sea every night - but most mornings only a fragment remained.....yet the feelings lingered all day. It struck her that her own memories seemed more clear in this new unrelated environment. Veronica would sit at her computer for hours each day - in touch with the past which she thought was going to be easy to write - but that wasn’t so. The book she set out to write became increasingly elusive. In the meantime Veronica becomes friends with her neighbor- Astrid - who was in her 80’s. Astrid, a reclusive woman, who has lived in this village her entire life, was living with a painful secret from her past. A beautiful friendship develops over meals - wine - music - walks - strawberry’s & mushroom picking in autumn - and talks....sharing sensitive stories with one another.....comforting each other’s quiet suffering. Early in their friendship- Veronica gave Astrid one of her previous novels. She says:“It feels like such a long time ago since I wrote it. Perhaps it is a little like having a child. You are there to protect it and look after it, you suffer with it and rejoice with it. But in the end you have to let it live it’s own life. Step back and let it free. And hope that it will fare well”. Astrid responded by saying, “yes, we must let go of even the most precious things”.I had remembered those quotes - for their own merits - ( even thinking of a few authors I’ve interacted with who could take a lesson) as I read the rest of this book - those quotes took on a more specific powerful meaning. Veronica and Astrid have a beautiful companionship. Their age difference adds a rich quality. The village where they live - with the seasons changing gives us a quiet reflective novel. The writing creates an melancholic aura which becomes peaceful reading....the seasons are great supporting characters in their own rite.....from candles glowing on the snow in winter, duckings in the summer, darkness in the houses at night, sipping teas, the rivers, birch, cherry and apple trees, flowerbeds along the fence, daffodils among the weeds, the warmth of the kitchen, smells from cooking - etc. A small novel - 246 pages.... A sensitive powerful woman’s friendship...beautifully written!!!

  • Jeannie
    2019-02-03 22:00

    4.5 I loved this book! I'm surprised that it hasn't gotten more attention. Sometimes the right book just shows up at the right time and maybe that is why I liked this so much. It made me want to see New Zealand and Sweden. This is a book about friendship, heartbreak, healing, it was sad in parts.This is a quiet book and slow moving, it may not be for everyone. The writing is absolutely beautiful though! Linda Olsson paints a picture with her words. I plan to read her other books."The birch trees went from sheer pale purple through shy green to full summer exuberance in a few days, and the delicate bluebells covered the meadows with a quivering brush of purple. The bird cherry trees blossomed and filled the air with perfume over a few intense days, then the petals fell like snow.""...for the day is you,and the light is you,the sun is you,and the beautiful, beautifulawaiting life is you."This is from a poem by Karin Boye.

  • Robin Nicholas
    2019-02-09 20:06

    sweet....beautiful......deep..... quiet.....thoughtful

  • Kyla
    2019-02-16 02:48

    What's the Swedish for "blech"? I was really looking forward to this book - a New Zealand/Scandanavian hybrid, the story of two women, a picture of food on the cover - what else could you ask for? How about good writing? An ear for dialogue? A decent editor? 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 encounters a mysterious crabby woman with a Great Tragedy in her own past and together they Heal Each Other - all together now - "Bleeccch"!) and hideous clunky dialogue = an earnest try that will have you cringing and possibly throwing it across the room.

  • Teresa
    2019-01-27 20:52

    Beautifully written book about memory and facing the difficult memories in order to feel and live again. Olsson has a very descriptive style and I love the way she writes about the changing sky especially. Water (and its various incarnations) is a powerful metaphor for her.Favorite passages:" '... 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 to, then perhaps we can see things differently. ...' "And this one because it reminds me of here, where it many times feels as if we don't have 4 seasons, and for the times when it's hot in the winter and I forget what season it is:"... it was as if summer and winter were intertwined: there was summer in the midst of winter, winter in the midst of summer. And there was no autumn, no spring, no time for anticipation, no time for remembrance. Only the present."The only quibble (very minor) I have with the book is that at times it was a bit repetitive for me. I also balked a bit at the coincidence of these two women with their tragic stories meeting and connecting as and when they did. But that latter quibble is especially minor, as I'm willing to suspend my disbelief over things like that in good fiction.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-12 22:49

    To quote a review I read..."blech." There are so many things I didn't like about this book...the writing wasn't that good. The plot was is overdone and this was certainly not a fresh angle on it. And the drama was overblown. I didn't feel for either of the characters...I thought they were both idiots in their special ways. First, Astrid. And this is a mother, repeat NO MOTHER, would kill their child out of hatred for their husband. Period. I can't even grasp why someone would conceive of this plot and think readers are going to feel for the character. I don't feel sorry for her one bit. And Veronika, please. I can't stand these characters that their lives are over when they lose a man. And who are these 24 year olds that can just move to the country to attempt to write a book for 6 months. She barely knew the man and yes it's sad he died, but again, I didn't really feel it. My mother in law recommended this to me.

  • Anna Casanovas
    2019-01-30 00:51

    "Astrid y Veronika" narra la amistad entre dos mujeres de edades y vidas muy distintas pero ambas muy desgraciadas y solas. La prosa de la autora es delicada y hay párrafos preciosos, pero me he quedado con la sensación de que en ciertos momentos era demasiado lírica. Es una novela muy triste y personalmente no me habría importado que hubiera un poco de alegría entre sus páginas (aunque esto desde luego es completamente subjetivo). La estructura narrativa, pasa del narrador en tercera persona al narrador en primera (alternando las voces de las dos mujeres), es impecable y lo mejor de la obra. En resumen, aunque el argumento no ha acabado de convencerme creo que es la técnica de la autora es impresionante. Es una novela corta de esas que tienes que leer despacio porque cada palabra ha sido elegida con esmero, pero he echado en falta que la autora se involucrase más en el contenido y en el alma de sus personajes.

  • Maria Ella
    2019-01-31 20:55

    Poignant and heartwarming, the novel sets you into a quiet mood, experiencing saudade in the middle of a heavy rainfall. The book opens with a cold winter welcome, it feels slow at first, but as you go along the story, you are slowly opening up - to the slow talks, to the longer sunshine, to the serense streams of the river bend, to the peaceful poems and prose, and to the sharings of the two women - of different generations, but having the same broken past and dark secrets. I learned about their stories of loss, of longing and of love. Some are of melancholic tone - but most of them cuts deep, you cannot help but shed a tear. And oh, TEARS! What I learned about is how the old woman named Astrid told Veronika this: "...Love comes to us with no forewarning, and once given to us it can never be taken away."This is for us to remember that love is a gift, and may it come in such a quiet fashion, it will remain in our hearts forever.

  • salinthebay
    2019-02-01 22:06

    I had forgotten I read this book until I saw it displayed in Borders. A good friend recommended it at a time I needed a good friend. It deals with the friendship between two characters, one young, one old, from very different worlds,a New Zealand/Scandanavian hybrid. Conversations develop with each other,thus, their respective pasts are revealed. Both share their hardship in life. Even with such sadness as a background, I found this such a beautiful, gentle read, well-written and believable. Those of us who have fallen into unknown relationships at life's most unexpected time will realate to this story.

  • Sandie
    2019-01-27 02:53

    Maybe this book is one that came at the right time for me, but I really really liked it and slowed down my reading so I would not finish it. It is about a friendship between a younger and an older woman in a small town in Sweden. They both are healing from events in their past. Each chapter begins with a line or two of poetry which I liked. I also liked the author's descriptions of light and of food.The author is Swedish but now lives in New Zealand and the book is set in both places, but mostly in Sweden. This is one book I will keep and perhaps read again.

  • james
    2019-02-01 22:05

    some of my favorites:-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 incomprehensible. just shards and particles, which i carry with me wherever i go. they are sharp and they still hurt to touch. and they are so heavy. i know there is more - there are less intense fragments that i need to make it whole. i want to remember everything. but perhaps i need to give it more time. allow myself some rest. distance myself a little, to see if i can make out a pattern. and face the truth about what is really there.-love comes to us with no forewarning, and once given to us it can never be taken away. we must remember that. it can never be lost. love is not measurable. it cannot be counted in years, minutes or seconds, kilos or grams. it cannot be quantified in any way. nor can it be compared, one with the other. it simply is. the briefest brush with real love can sustain you for a lifetime. we must remember that.-live...! take risks! that is really what life is about. we must pursue our own happiness. nobody has ever lived our lives; there are no guidelines. trust your instincts. accept nothing but the best. but then also look for it carefully. don't allow it to slip between your fingers. and nothing comes complete. it is what we make of whatever we encounter that determines the outcome. what we choose to see, what we choose to save. and what we choose to remember. never forget that all the love in your life is there, inside you, always. it can never be taken from you.

  • catherine
    2019-02-19 01:46

    perhaps it is my scandinavian background that drew me to this book and allowed me to relate to it so, i really liked reading about the relationship between these two amazing women. it turns out that my bestemor (grandma) was reading it at the same time i was so we had a nice discussion of scandinavian literature. since reading it i haven't stopped thinking about moving to the tip of denmark, skagen, where i would rent a small house and write and read. just like Veronika.

  • Kate
    2019-02-18 00:57

    This is a book I have wanted to read for such a long time - and bliss it is my real life book club read for November! 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 Sweden she describes and those whom she meets. The places and emotions flow over you. The story a little darker than her second book but equally moving and unforgettable. To comment freely would give the plot away. I recommend this if you have some quite contemplative time to give to it - especially if you have been in love or are a mother......

  • Ferris
    2019-01-31 20:04

    This is a story of two halves of one spirit finding one another. It is the story of a brief, yet transformative, relationship. Astrid, and elderly, isolated soul meets her new neighbor, Veronika, a devastated and wandering soul. It is the sharing of each others' wounds and loves which transform both of their lives. The themes in this book include: love, friendship, transformation, sharing, confessing, forgiving, and accepting. Absolutely lovely. It receives four rather than five stars because it is just a smidgeon too contrived.

  • Elza
    2019-02-02 22:02

    Maybe 2,5You can find my review in english further downEfter att flera i min vänskapskrets pratat om hur mycket de tyckte om den här boken bestämde jag mig för att läsa den.I Linda Olssons Nu vill jag sjunga dig milda sånger får vi följa med Veronika som en marskväll flyttar in i en enslig stuga i en liten by i Dalarna. Hon vill ha lugn och ro och en plats där hon kan skriva färdigt sin roman. Hon vill också vara ensam för att komma över en stor sorg. I huset bredvid bor en gammal kvinna, Astrid, som i tysthet betraktar Veronika när hon flyttar in. Mellan dem spirar en ovanlig vänskap som förändrar bådas liv för alltid. Jag försökte gilla den här boken. Jag försökte att inte himla med ögonen men det gick inte. Den här boken strös med en massa gullegull tillsammans med melankoliska meningar. Jag får heller inget riktigt grepp om vem Veronika eller Astrid är som karaktärer. Vi får ta del av deras mörka och tragiska förflutna men jag kan inte påstå att jag vet vad för karaktärer de är. Astrid kallas häxan i byn men vi läsare får aldrig riktigt reda på varför och hennes karaktär är raka motsatsen till hennes smeknamn vilket för mig är förvirrande. Vem är Astrid? Varför kallas hon häxan? Om hon är så otrevlig som alla säger i byn, varför är hon så trevlig mot Veronika? Även Veronikas karaktär saknar djup. Det är uppenbart att någonting hemskt har hänt henne och att hon behöver komma över en sorg men det verkar vara mer än så. Tyvärr får vi inte veta mer.Det är en välskriven bok men jag gillade inte stilen. Hela boken kändes överdramatiserad vilket gjorde det svårt för mig att ta det hela på allvar. Istället för att vara en fin berättelse om vänskap förvandlades hela boken till sentimentalt möte mellan två kvinnor. Fler bokrecensioner från mig hittar du här =)--------------------------------After several in my circle of friends talking about how much they enjoyed this book, I decided to read it as well.In Linda Olsson Let me sing you gentle songs we follow Veronika who one evening in March moves into a secluded cottage in a small village in Dalarna. She wants peace and quiet and a place where she can finish writing her novel. She also wants to be alone to get over a great sorrow. In the house next-door lives an old woman, Astrid, who quietly watches Veronica when she moves in. Between them sprout an unusual friendship that changes both their lives forever.I tried to like this book. I tried not to roll my eyes but couldn’t help myself. This book is sprinkled with a lot of cute metaphors mixed with melancholy sentences. I also didn’t get a real grasp of who Veronika or Astrid really is as characters. The reader gets to know both characters dark and tragic past, but I still can’t say I know who they really are. Astrid is called the witch in the village but the readers never really finds out why, and her character is the complete opposite of her nickname, which for me is confusing. Who is Astrid? Why is she the witch? If she is so rude as everyone says in the village, why is she so nice to Veronika?Even Veronika's character lacks depth. It is obvious that something bad has happened to her and that she needs to get over the grief, but it seems to be more than that. Unfortunately, we don’t get to know more.It is a well-written book, but I did not like the style. The whole book felt over dramatized, making it difficult for me to take it all seriously. Instead of being a nice story about friendship this book turned out to be a sentimental encounter between two women.More book review from me here =)

  • Suzanne
    2019-01-23 02:49

    Once in awhile, a novel comes along that leaves you pondering long after you’ve put it down. It’s wisdom implores you to explore further the subtle nuances of meanings within the context of your own life. Astrid and Veronika is just such a book.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 develops between the two women. During my own life, I have experienced friendships with women that are older than I, and often those are my favorite and most cherished relationships. In the readers guide at the back of the novel, the author relates a story about her own grandmother:“I first visited her in her home in Anaheim, California. One evening, we cooked together. Grandmother made her famous blueberry pie and I my fish soup. As we stood in her kitchen, she suddenly looked up from her work. ‘It’s a pity we are not the same age, you and I,’ she said. ‘We would be best friends.’ I looked back at her and said, ‘We are.’”Both the characters in the book have experienced love and loss. And death. Olsson shows us how many people deal with death and lost love through her characters, and in doing so, we see a bit of ourselves. As their friendship grows, they each learn some valuable lessons about life. One of my favorite passages is in the letter Astrid leaves for Veronika at the end of the book:“Love comes to us with no forewarning, and once given to us it can never be taken away. We must remember that. It can never be lost. Love is not measurable. It cannot be counted in years, minutes or seconds, kilos and grams. It cannot be quantified in any way. Nor can it be compared, one with the other. It simply is. The briefest brush with real love can sustain you for a lifetime. We must always remember that.”No person can escape being touched by death and loss. Astrid and Veronika shows us that love can overcome anything. 4 1/2 stars.

  • Megan
    2019-02-09 20:09

    I liked this book both because of the beautiful and unusual nature of the friendship that the author creates among the two women and because of the oddly serene tone and pace of the writing. Whereas most books propel you forward via an urgent pace and dramatic or suspenseful plot elements, this book unfolds gently and sympathetically and then relies upon your genuine interest in and intimacy with the characters to keep you turning pages.Even when the characters are reliving traumatic events, the author wraps them and the reader in a soothing blanket of poetic language, depictions of the natural beauty of the landscape, and the hopeful outlook that these characters -- and humans in general -- can overcome those obstacles and dare to love again. Rather than blunting the pain or significance of their troubles, this soothing treatment enabled me to feel their pain and yet keep on reading with empathy and admiration for their personal growth.Definitely a different kind of read and a great choice for when you are already in a pensive or introspective mood or when you need to switch gears from your own day to day stress.

  • Cindy
    2019-01-30 23:12

    A beautiful, wonderfully written story about two women; one at the beginning of her life, the other at the end of her life, who meet and because of this discover hope and love again. 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. Five stars to this book which immediately is going on my list of favorites!

  • Dav'neStahley
    2019-02-08 19:09

    Wasn't sure I'd like this as I always like an ongoing story, but the friendship is blossoming between Astrid and Veronika and the secrets are being shared. I like it! A lovely story and there is no reason to think these women are 60 years apart in age...a friendship blossomed and they lived it. At book club last night I revisited this book...interesting how i totally ignored Veronika's one big secret in my review above...hmmm.

  • Tristan
    2019-02-14 01:07

    This was a book about friendship built on timing and need. Two individual women very far in age and likeness form a strong bond that is necessary for both to overcome trials and the sadness of life. The author had a sweet way of expressing a very human need to feel loved and needed. I enjoyed that she was able to show the joys in life even when it seemed there would never be happiness again for these women.

  • Sarah
    2019-01-29 20:52

    Though the plot and dialogue didn't feel entirely believable to me, the reflective passages are just lovely: intricate, resonant, imbued with green scents and shifting light.I'd very much like to experience more of Olsson's work.

  • Gina Baratono
    2019-02-01 23:42

    A delightful and touching story about the growing friendship between two women. Veronika is an author from New Zealand who has just been through a tragedy. She seeks refuge in Sweden, hoping to regain some semblance of normalcy, some peace. Astrid is her elderly neighbor. Astrid is quiet, keeps to herself, and is almost a recluse. However, Astrid takes an interest in Veronika. She begins visiting socially, and then begins to cook meals for her. Astrid is exactly the healing salve that Veronika's broken spirit needs. A friendship blossoms. You'll have to read the book to hear the rest.

  • Bonnie Brody
    2019-01-25 21:59

    This novel, about friendship, love and loss, takes place in Sweden. Veronika is a young writer who has come to Sweden from New Zealand in order to escape a personal tragedy and to work on her novel. Living next door to her is Astrid, an elderly woman who appears reclusive and does not venture out of her house very often. As both of these women go about their days, they inevitably run into each other and very gradually develop a budding friendship.Astrid has spent her whole life in this small Swedish town and little is known about her. As she opens up to Veronika, the reader learns of the suffering she's endured and the tragedy of her life. Veronika starts sharing bits and pieces of her life with Astrid and tells her how the death of her fiance has paralyzed her emotions, virtually stopping her in her tracks and leaving her without hope.The two women establish lovely rituals together as they pick mushrooms in the woods, drink wine on cold winter evenings and sing songs in the evenings. They learn how their own kindness, patience and sincerity with each other has opened up doors that they thought were locked forever.This is a tender book about friendship and love between two unlikely women whose hearts join together. As they explore each other's pain and suffering, something else is born - fresh hope for the future and belief in their ability to heal.

  • Sandy T
    2019-01-23 02:12

    I started this not really knowing what to expect, and at first, it seemed to plod along a little too slowly. But as the story began to develop, the quiet pace seemed just right for this story of two completely different women who meet, and through their friendship are able to help heal each other's pain and grief... Astrid, nearing the end of her life has so much wisdom to share about what she has learned.Some of my favorites:"You can become aware of the small kindnesses, the little comforts. Be grateful for them. And with time you will understand that there is nothing to fear. And much to be grateful for.""I think that if we just listen to ourselves we know what it is we have to do . . . . And I have come to think that however much it hurts, however hard it is, we have to listen. We have to live our lives."--"Take risks! That is really what life is about. We must pursue our own happiness. Nobody has ever lived our lives; there are no guidelines. Trust your instincts. Accept nothing but the best. But then also look for it carefully. Don't allow it to slip between your fingers. Sometimes, good things come to us in a such a quiet fashion. And nothing comes complete. It is what we make of whatever we encounter that determines the outcome. What we choose to see, what we choose to save. And what we choose to remember. Never forget that all the love in your life is there, inside you, always."4 stars instead of 5 because I didn't agree with one of the choices Astrid made... not sure that's really what she would have done. This would make a very interesting book group discussion!

  • An Odd1
    2019-01-25 03:08

    Starts with dreams, escalates into fevered nightmares of Veronika 32, new renter next to recluse Astrid 81. Senior checks on ill author, brings nourishment. Both know their happy times will not last; no surprise to reader when most frightening memories shared first. New Zealand boyfriend died surfing, miscarriage right after. Mother suicided when Astrid ten, father ordered her to strip naked, loveless marriage at 18 (to older 25 ugly yuck), (view spoiler)[ She smothers nursing newborn, "put my hand over her face and the white night swallowed us" p148, tells husband "Your child is dead" p149, drops murder innocuously without warning, explanation, shame, regret, or followup. Pfft. Astrid shares hidden wild strawberries, mushrooms, jam, Swedish pancake and fishballs, recipes, meals, wills house to Veronika for bringing her back to enjoyment of life. (hide spoiler)]Local store-keeper shows Veronika old photo of Astrid as girl, so she constantly looks for younger beauty in thinning wrinkled scalp and heavy body. They both care, give time, energy, love, connect each back to others, the world again, for an obvious moral of everybody needs somebody to love, giving is receiving, blah blah. A final 11 page study guide talks about "symbolism of water" and stuff only English teachers want. Great authors like Shakespeare or Dickens wrote for the paycheck. Some sense of place, but lacking in setting and overall. I've been to N.Z., not Sweden. Surely the Southern Hemisphere vivid skies and green pastures contrast with a Midnight Sun country?

  • Marie cuatt
    2019-01-25 18:59

    There are so many phrases and descriptions which I found simply beautiful and hauntingly familiar. As other's have stated, poetic/lyrical writing. Wild strawberries, surpising finds with a sweetness out of the ordinary. The water theme through out the story gave me pictures of the moods and feelings of the events happening, melting snow or ice, the huge terrifying waves of the sea, the river flowing under the bridge, the rain and wet snow. Also mentioned often were open windows, scenes through the windows.I particulary enjoyed the preparing and sharing of meals together, the simple food and simple details of these communions were so lovely & loving. The author's discriptions of the weather, the seasons,the trees and natural surroundings helped met to 'be there'.However, for me, there seemed to be a disconnect with characterization - something that was missing in both of these women for me to want to care about them or find them real, particulary Veronika.I know I will remember this book for a long time and want to reread those beautiful phrases and descriptions. I look forward to readingOlsen's future books.

  • Tracy
    2019-01-28 02:46

    This was my choice for our Book Club and it generated one of the most in-depth and lengthy discussions we've had! I was reading it for the second time for our Book Club and found new insights ... it was definitely worth a second read!"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, an older, reclusive neighbor who slowly becomes a presence in Veronika’s life, offering comfort in the form of companionship and lovingly prepared home-cooked meals. Set against a haunting Swedish landscape, Astrid & Veronika is a lyrical and meditative novel of love and loss, and a story that will remain with readers long after the characters’ secrets are revealed."

  • Debbi
    2019-02-21 00:51

    I would really like to give this book 3 1/2 stars. The first hundred pages are exquisite. The author's ability to capture the essence of the place had me running to my computer; checking out fares to Sweden. I also enjoyed the budding relationship between Astrid, a reclusive 80 year old woman and Veronika, a 30 year old writer. I initially slowed down to savor the book, but as the story unfolded I began to feel overwhelmed by the melancholy tone. Although the characters mention joy and happiness as they share their past, it doesn't surface in the same way sorrow does. By the end, the book seemed out of balance. And yet, there is plenty of poetry in Olsson's writing.It is the author's first novel and definitely worth a look. I will look forward to reading more of her work.

  • Gloria
    2019-01-31 01:10

    How does a book marry the coldness of a Scandinavian landscape with the warmth of unexpected friendship? No other book since The Enchanted April has had the ability to soften my somewhat sardonic view of female friendships.This book makes me long for an Astrid of my own.Perhaps I'll need to be patient ... gather more years on myself ... and become an Astrid to someone else.

  • Cynthia Dunn
    2019-02-01 20:53

    An exquisite commentary on the value of friendship between women and what an old woman and a young one can learn from one another.