Astrid & Veronika, Linda Olsson, Penguin Books, 2005, 246 pp
This is a sad and quiet book which I read in my beautiful hotel room in Paris. Linda Olsson is Swedish, wrote the book in Swedish and so the translation has a bit of the lilt that is Swedish. Very nice.
It all takes place in a small Swedish village where Veronika, a writer, has rented a house in which to recover from a loss and write a book. Eventually she meets her neighbor Astrid, an old woman alone who has had an awful life and now keeps to herself.
These two women open up to each other and reveal their stories slowly over a year's time. This could have been a sappy novel but instead I was left with a feeling of wonder at the power of friendship and acceptance and communication.