Thursday, September 30, 2010

Astrid and Veronika

by Linda Olsson

This novel is about two women, Astrid, who is in her 80’s, living all of her life in a village in Sweden and Veronika, a young woman, who after a personal tragedy in New Zeeland, is looking for peace in the same Swedish village. The older woman is living a very secluded life, not going out of the house much and doesn’t communicate with anyone; the people from the village called her a “witch”.
When Veronika moves into the house next door, she notices that there are no signs of life in the house. The next day she goes for a walk and sees an old woman standing by the window and watching her. Days pass by but she never meets her neighbor. One day Veronika gets ill and doesn’t go out for a few days. Meanwhile Astrid, who has been watching the young woman since the first day, starts to get worried that something bad has happened with her. It takes all her courage to walk over to Veronika’s house and knock on the door. From that day forward a friendship starts between the two women.
This was the author’s first book. Even though the plot of this story seemed promising, it was written awkwardly. There are no dialogues between the women, only monologues and it didn’t convince me about the existence of their friendship. Olsson’s aim was to write a touching story about a beautiful and extraordinary healing friendship, but instead I felt the book that was more annoying than moving. However I can see the beauty of her story in this book, I just wish it was better written. I can’t really recommend this novel, but I am still looking forward to read another book by Olsson. I am pretty sure it will be better than “Astrid and Veronika”.

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