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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 & 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
Linda Olsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2003, she won the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition. Linda has lived in Kenya, Singapore, Britain, and Japan before settling in Auckland, New Zealand, where she lives today. Her previous novel, Astrid & Veronika, was published in 2007.
"Natural and vivid, utterly convincing... simply so beguiling."—The New York Times
"Readers of Anne Tyler and Jodi Picoult will appreciate the lyrical prose and expert rendering of the themes of heartbreakk and loss."—Booklist
"Has the hallmarks of an Ingmar Bergman film... a chilly Scandinavian setting leavened by rich observations of nature, and characters whose prim, polite facades eventually disappear, exposing years of anger and hurt."—Kirkus Reviews
"Linda Olsson evokes, with great beauty and precision, the landscape of a friendship between two very different women, each caught in a tragic moment from the past. Their connection, initially as tentative and fragile as the first filaments of ice, gradually strengthens, allowing each woman to give voice to her stories, and in doing so to reclaim 'a heart for beauty.' Subtle, penetrating, and beautifully written, Astrid and Veronika affirms the power of narrative to transform."—Kim Edwards, New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter
"Not only impossible to put down, but impossible to forget."—Canvas, New Zealand
"Linda Olsson unravels . . . each woman’s story . . . gradually revealing their grief and loss. . . . This a subtle but powerful novel, tender and poignant."—The Dominion Post, New Zealand
"Beautiful and deeply affecting. A dreamlike evocation of the power of friendship."—Mary McGarry Morris, author of Songs in Ordinary Time