Synopses & Reviews
From the beloved author of Astrid & Veronika, a moving tale of friendship and redemption
Fans of Astrid & Veronika and Chris Cleave's Little Bee will be thrilled to read Linda Olsson's third novel. Here is Olsson doing what she does best: illuminating the terrain of friendship and examining the many forms that love can take.
Marion Flint, in her early fifties, has spent fifteen years living a quiet life on the rugged coast of New Zealand, a life that allows the door to her past to remain firmly shut. But a chance meeting with a young boy, Ika, and her desire to help him force Marion to open the Pandora’s box of her memory. Seized by a sudden urgency to make sense of her past, she examines each image one-by-one: her grandfather, her mother, her brother, her lover. Perhaps if she can create order from the chaos, her memories will be easier to carry. Perhaps she’ll be able to find forgiveness for the little girl that was her. For the young woman she had been. For the people she left behind.
Olsson expertly interweaves scenes from Marion’s past with her quest to save Ika from his own tragic childhood, and renders with reflective tenderness the fragility of memory and the healing power of the heart.
"Beautiful and deeply affecting. A dreamlike evocation of the power of friendship." Mary McGarry Morris, author of The Lost Mother and Songs in Ordinary Time
With extraordinary emotional power, Linda Olssons 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 Veronikas life, offering comfort in the form of companionship and lovingly prepared home-cooked meals. Set against a haunting Swedish landscape, Astrid and 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.
About the Author
was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1948. She graduated from the University of Stockholm with a law degree, and worked in law and finance until she left Sweden in 1986. What was intended as a three-year posting to Kenya then became a tour of the world with stops in Singapore, the U.K., and Japan, until she settled in New Zealand with her family in 1990. In 1993 she completed a bachelor of arts in English and German literature at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2003 she won the Sunday Star-Times
Short Story Competition. Linda's first novel Astrid & Veronika
became an international success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in Scandinavia, Europe and the United States. It was followed by the heartbreaking and moving Sonata for Miriam
. Olsson divides her time between Auckland, New Zealand and Stockholm, Sweden.