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.
Not only impossible to put down, but impossible to forget. (Canvas, New Zealand)
Linda Olsson unravels . . . each womans story . . . gradually revealing their grief and loss. . . . This a subtle but powerful novel, tender and poignant. (The Dominion Post, New Zealand)
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)
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)