ISBN: 0143038079
Pub. Date: February 2007
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

This is a story about a friendship between two women, young and old, and how their encounter with each other changes their life after they have bared their souls and exchange their life stories.

Veronika is a 30-year-old writer. She moves into a quiet and small village in Sweden, hoping to find some isolation and also to devote her time in her writing. She then meets her neighbour, an older woman, whom the village considered her a "witch" because she doesn't mix around with people and they think she is a little strange.

Astrid, the older woman, has been watching her new neighbour behind her curtains the day she moves next to the house, until a day Veronika didn't come out of the house. After much hesitation and out of curiousity, she decided to stop by Veronika's house to have a look and found out she was sick. Although Astrid isn't used to playing hospitality, still she helps Veronika with cooking her meals although she appears to be discreet.

After this incident, their friendship starts to blossom and they become close friends. It is during this time that they began to talk about their past, as each has their own emotional story to tell. The things they had shared are basically about their relationships; e.g. Astrid being rejected by her grandfather as a child, how she came to lose her true love and then spending her life miserably after she was married to a man she didn't love. Veronika, on the other hand, leaves her boyfriend and falls in love with a New Zealander when she met him in a pub one day, but their relationship didn't last and she grieves.

Linda Olsson has written this story with a beautiful poetic style, as she switches the characters' POV by chapters so that the reader is able to get a glimpse of the individual character's thoughts.

What also makes this a captivating read to me is the unique friendship between the two women despite their age gap and different social backgrounds, and how their individual life experiences have changed their mindsets through sharing and learning from each other. There were times that I felt sorry for the characters, but in the end I was simply touched by their courageous for moving on with their lives.
7 Responses
  1. Alice Says:

    Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the great review! I might try this one day. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Thanks, Alice! :) Let me know if you happen to get this book one day...

  3. This does sound good, Melody. I like reading books like this. This one is going right on my wish list. :-)

  4. Melody Says:

    Hi Wendy! Yes, I enjoyed reading it. :) Let me know what you think after you get a copy of it. ;)

  5. Debi Says:

    Oh, this does sound good... Sounds like one I might want to pick up in my new quest of "expanding my reading horizons". Thanks, Melody...I so enjoy reading your reviews!

  6. Mailyn Says:

    I agree, this does sound like a very good book!

  7. Melody Says:

    Hi Debi, thanks! I'm hoping you'll pick up this book soon.

    Hi Mailyn, it is. :) I enjoyed reading it. A thought provoking story about life.

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