When I first picked up Linda Olsson’s novel Astrid & Veronika, I was drawn to the cover. The simplicity of the photograph, along with the simplicity of the title. And yet, there were so many layers to these two things.
The cover of the book is a pair of hands holding picked fruit. The colors are stunning. Creamy white hands and blood red berries. Light blue at the top of the photo, and black at the bottom.
And the title: the names of two women. Not only names, but unusual and old-fashioned names, at least by today’s standards in the United States.
The book promised so much, just in the cover visual. I was not disappointed. I read this book and fell in love with the author.
When Linda Olsson was invited to speak about this book, this is what she posted on her webpage:
There is the landscape, the seasons, the land. My native Sweden. In a sense perhaps the book is a love letter to the country where I was born. Perhaps it is a letter of farewell. But, more importantly, I think it is a book about friendship. The novel tells a story of an unusual and unexpected friendship. It describes the strength that is to be found in friendship, the comfort and perhaps the love. It describes how a deep friendship can be found and developed anywhere, anytime, at any stage in our lives and between persons who may superficially seem to have very little in common.
Because of the simple manner in which she writes, her stories are personal, completely relatable, and poignant. When I say “simple”, I mean that Ms. Olsson does not rely on archaic words and seldom-used phrases that put some authors out of reach. Her words are charged with visions, emotions, and longings. Her descriptions enable you see clearly in your mind’s eye where the characters reside, make your mouth water when they prepare meals, and tug at your heart when there are joys or conflicts.
Only a few authors are able to reach me in this way, and I have added each of her published novels to my collection. As a matter of fact, when I see one available, I purchase it to give away. I want everyone to find what I have in her works.
I hope you will seek out Linda Olsson and add her to your reading list.