ISBN-13: 9780143114703
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: February 2009
287 pgs

I was first introduced to Linda Olsson's beautiful prose after reading her debut novel, Astrid & Veronika, published two years ago. I remember I had an enjoyable reading experience with that book so when I saw Sonata for Miriam on display, I told myself I have to get it.

Like her first novel, Linda Olsson has once again explore the beauty yet complexity of human relationships. This time around, she has cleverly crafted an unforgettable story about loss and finding one's identity, using repressed memories and history the basic structure in Sonata for Miriam.

Upon discovering a discarded hair clip one day, this brings violinist Adam Anker aching memories of his daughter, Miriam, and the accident that took her away from him. Bringing back to the past, he remembers his discovery of a photograph bearing his name and the plea for information attaching to it among the documents and mementos supplied by Jewish refugees at the Holocaust Gallery in the Memorial Hall.

Traumatized by the loss of his daughter, it took him a year before he decided to pick up where he left and contact the elderly woman who had left the note beside the photograph. Thereafter it begins his journey of searching his past and he will get acquainted with two men who would be able to shed some light regarding his past as well as the truth behind his family secret through some mysterious photographs and a pile of unopened letters.

In the last quarter of this book, Linda Olsson then shift the perspective towards Miriam's mother, Cecilia, and readers will get to know more about her past relationship with Adam and how a decision made changed both their life thereafter. Initially I had question about the change of perspective but as I read further, I realized her story is interwoven with Adam's and how this will attribute to the overall of this story.

Reading Sonata for Miriam is like a roller coaster ride to me; this book is full of emotions but there is nothing too depressing about this story; the atmosphere surrounding this story is just right and I could feel Adam's grief and loss under Linda Olsson's skilful writing and the way she constructed the words like a sonata, so beautiful and alluring that I find myself lost in them.

Most memorable quote:

Memories are unreliable. I carry memories that are now so worn I can't possibly tell if they are accurate.

Other reviews:
Debbie's World of Books
S. Krishna's Books
(Let me know if I have missed yours.)

15 Responses
  1. S. Krishna Says:

    Wasn't this writing just beautiful? I think your term "roller coaster ride" sums it up very well! Great review!

  2. Melody Says:

    Swapna - Oh yes, I fell in love with Linda's writing! :) Thank you!

  3. Julia Says:

    Sound like it's a beautiful book, Melody. Thanks for sharing your review on this :)

  4. Melody Says:

    Julia - If you enjoy reading lyrical prose, then I recommend Linda Olsson's books because they're really good! :)

  5. Julia Says:

    I take your recommendation into consideration :) Thanks!

  6. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I remember that teaser. What an amazing sounding book! I will take this review to heart then, and will put it on my list! Thank you!

  7. Violet Says:

    The story definitely sounds depressing, but if you say it isn't I'll take your word for it :)

    Never read Linda Olsson before, I might give this one a try.

  8. Wanda Says:

    Oh yes, I'm definitely going to enjoy this one! Glad to hear you liked it, Melody.

    There is an award waiting for you here.

  9. Alice Says:

    That's beautiful, Melody... I've never read this author before but hope to one day. Thanks for the review!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I picked up Astrid and Veronika at the bookstore last'll be my introduction to Linda Olsson. And after this review, I'm really looking forward to her writing!

  11. Ladytink_534 Says:

    What a great quote! :o)

  12. Darlene Says:

    I'd love to read this someday. I love the quote you used.

  13. Melody Says:

    Sandy - I'm glad you're adding this book to your wishlist! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it if you get to it!

    Violet - The premise does sounds sad, but it's not too dark or depressing though.

    Wanda - Thank you for passing on the award to me! :)

    Alice - I hope you'll give Linda Olsson's book a try if you can. Her writing is just awesome!

    Jill - I really enjoyed reading Astrid and Veronika! I don't mind re-reading that book if I've some extra time!

    Jen - I'm glad you think so too. :)

    Dar - I love that quote! Period. ;)

  14. Iliana Says:

    I really liked her book Astrid & Veronika so I'm definitely planning to read this one. Great review, Melody. And, actually glad to hear it's not too depressing. A&V was definitely melancholy so I figured this one might be the same. I don't mind sad books just have to be in the mood for them :)

  15. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Astrid & Veronika is one of my favourite books! Like you, I don't mind reading sad books but I've to be in the mood for them. ;) I'm hoping Linda Olsson will have her next book out soon!!!

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