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Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs by Linda Olsson
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Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs (2005)

by Linda Olsson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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958729,051 (3.69)160
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English (59)  Norwegian (4)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
This is one of the most beautiful books that I have read for a long time. It is the story of two women both of whom are living in isolated farmhouses in th Swedish countryside. Veronika a writer has gone there to nurse her grief at the loss of her partner. She befriends her elderly neighbour Astrid, a woman who has lived her life without love or affection. They share their life stories and become firm friends. Veronika finds in Astrid a person to replace the mother she never had and Astrid finds in Veronika a replacement for the daughter she has lost. There is a lot more to the book than that though, beautiful descriptions of the countryside and the changing of the seasons,from grim winter to spring and midsummer. As the seasons unfold we see also the unfolding of these sad lonely women as they reach to each other and find friendship. A really enjoyable book. ( )
  lesleynicol | Oct 2, 2014 |
This is the second book I've read by this author, and they have one thing very much in common - they seem to be all about the mood. This is the story of a quiet friendship, started by two women whose memories are painful but precious, and the slow blossom of their friendship, and revelation of the secrets, is the bulk of the novel. Olsson's writing is lovely, and she perfectly captures the intensity of the relationship between these two women. I particularly enjoyed the snippets of poetry at the beginning of each chapter - they seemed well matched for each scene, and made me want to read more work by the poets. This will not be the book for everyone - it is almost completely internal, with virtually no "action" at all beyond the changing of seasons and the revealing of memories. I found it to be a slow but satisfying read - I do enjoy this author, and will read more of her work. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | Mar 16, 2014 |
A delicate story of friendship. How best to describe this book? Set in Sweden, a young woman rents a house to grieve the loss of her fiance. Next door, a woman has been alone for years, perhaps decades, perhaps her entire adult life. How they gently find one another and enter into a strong and loving relationship is beautifully told and moving to read. ( )
  wareagle78 | Jan 25, 2014 |
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I was expecting it to be much sappier than it turned out to be. The characters drew me in and kept me reading, but the tragedy in their lives was either too heavily foreshadowed or too predictable. ( )
  Mourvedre | Mar 29, 2013 |
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I was expecting it to be much sappier than it turned out to be. The characters drew me in and kept me reading, but the tragedy in their lives was either too heavily foreshadowed or too predictable. ( )
  Mourvedre | Mar 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Linda Olssonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holst, LisbetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I drift around my rooms and write to shadows, thinking as I always did, that writing only can make peace, can right and heal that which a life made sordid. - Bo Bergman, Somnlos' (Sleepless) in Aventyret (The adventure) 1969
Dedication
Fir Anna-Lisa, my grandmother, my friend
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There had been wind and drifting snow during her journey, but as darkness fell, the wind died and the snow settled.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143038079, Paperback)

With extraordinary emotional power, Linda Olsson’s 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 Veronika’s 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:34 -0400)

Olsson leads us through the flowering but unusual and tender friendship of Veronica and Astrid, as they slowly and carefully reveal their life histories and sometimes heart-rending pasts. A stunning first novel by a new writer with genuine talent.

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