Deeply forlorn following the devastating loss of her fiancé, young New Zealand writer Veronika resettles alone in a quaint Swedish village. Her arrival is quietly observed by Astrid, an elderly, reclusive neighbor, whose companionship will be a great blessing to Veronika - if she embraces it.
©2005 Linda Olsson; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
It was all down hill for me after Astrid confessed about killing her own baby. I did not understand how Veronika could be so accepting of infanticide and had not questioned this at all. After this point, I stopped liking the book, and became very uneasy. I kept thinking Astrid probably sped up her husband's death, or she was going to kill herself, or will kill Veronika with her bloody poisonous mushrooms. There was not enough "beef" in the book to justify this infanticide committed out of Astrid's own hatred. The rest of the book was sugary sweet and melodramatic. However, Linda Olsson's other audiobook - Memory of Love - is wonderful and highly recommended.
Avid Reader in TN
I would not recommend it as I found it too "lonely". I won't say boring exactly, but the story seems so bogged down in description of things that don't move the story along. And the discussion between the 2 women I felt was too personal. Who starts out saying "I woke up with his hand on my breast"? The isolation of both women takes forever to be explained. You can understand it once you find out the reasons, but by then I wasn't sure I cared.
I would have enjoyed it more if I had known of at least one of the tragedies up front. I would have enjoyed more of a dip into Astrid's reasons for her actions. I would have enjoyed more information about the relationship between the two women. A reaction from Veronica on the death of Astrid's child would have been appreciated because in today's society, just a hint of abuse creates such judgement from every corner of society. I would have liked to see Veronica struggle with it some. I would have expected Astrid to pull back after the reveal and even welcome some kind of judgement at that point. It would have been interesting to have some kind of deeper understanding of Astrid's husband and his reaction to loosing a child. I found the story of Astrid's mother sketchy. Who was the person that drove her away in the car? What role did they play? It didn't make sense to me.
I think it slowed the story for me to have to listen to every word instead of being able to skim over the peripheral details. Nothing against the reader - just an observation.
If you need something to listen to and there is nothing else on your device - it will do.
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