Astrid and Veronika

( 33 )

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback
$12.61
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$15.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (196) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $3.99   
  • Used (191) from $1.99   
Astrid and Veronika

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Ann Harleman
Linked at first by mere accident — Veronika falls ill, and Astrid finds her and cares for her — the two women gradually begin to confide in each other. Unlike the voice of the novel’s omniscient narrator, theirs are natural and vivid, utterly convincing. And unlike the novel’s flatly depicted present, the physical world of the past, in which their stories take place, generously opens to admit us.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In Swedish novelist Olsson's somber debut, Veronika Bergman returns to Sweden after a childhood following her diplomat father around the world (her mother abandoned the family), and after publishing her first novel titled Single, One Way, No Luggage. She rents a small house in a rural town to work on her second, but in solitude finds herself seized by feverish dreams and paralyzed by the "stillness" of the landscape and the memories of her recently dead fiancé. Reclusive septuagenarian Astrid Mattson, thought by the village to be a witch, takes an interest in Veronika, and the two strike up a friendship based on loss. Against the backdrop of the changing seasons and their small, plangent houses, the two women slowly tell each other their most closely guarded secrets (which concern their mothers and lovers), and venture, tentatively, out of the safety of their routines. Olsson has a clear feel for the emotional wellsprings of both characters, but can't convert her terse lyricism into a fully realized story. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Two women, four decades apart in age, share their emotional scars while living next door to each other in a small Swedish town. Olsson's restrained debut has the hallmarks of an Ingmar Bergman film: a leisurely pace, a chilly Scandinavian setting leavened by rich observations of nature and characters whose prim, polite facades eventually disappear, exposing years of anger and hurt. Veronika, a 30-year-old writer, arrives in a tiny village looking for a solitary place where she can work on the follow-up to her successful first novel. The house next to the one she rents is owned by Astrid, a septuagenarian shut-in whose husband is slowly dying in a nursing home miles away. Veronika is sad and embittered, Astrid is so closed-off she has a reputation as the village witch, but as their routines increasingly intersect, their relationship thaws, and they become close friends. Over dinners, hikes and trips into town, they discuss the things that prompted them to seclude themselves. By and large, those things are men: Astrid was cruelly rejected by her grandfather as a child, her true love died when she was a teen, and she spent years in a loveless marriage to a domineering man; Veronika left her boyfriend in Stockholm to live with another man in New Zealand, but that relationship had a tragic ending. It's a story with lots of potential to become overwrought, three-hanky fare, but Olsson refuses to give in to that temptation. Her prose is empathetic while remaining steely and unadorned, never overselling the amount of psychic damage that either character has sustained or glossing over the women's flaws. While the plot demands that the conclusion offer some familiar statements about our capacity toheal, Olsson's observations about breakups and dysfunctional families are carefully thought out and free of cliche. The slow pace is sometimes maddening, but it places the women's personal dramas in strong relief. An appealing, if oddly stoic, meditation on friendship.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143038078
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 192,635
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Olsson

Linda Olsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2003, she won the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition. Linda has lived in Kenya, Singapore, Britain, and Japan before settling in Auckland, New Zealand, where she lives today. Her previous novel, Astrid & Veronika, was published in 2007.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Loved this book

    An amazing story of friendship between two strong women seeking freedom from their pasts. Sweet, tragic and a wonderful read. Loved the cultural aspect as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    My first book on Nook

    I loved this book. It shares the slowly developing friendship of two unlikely women. The trust and love they form is very touching and is not often found between those separated so much by age. Though they are years apart they learn they each have deep hurt that has caused them to retreat into themselves and become somewhat reclusive. Once I started this book it was hard to put my ereader down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    .....

    I wanted to like this book... but could not. I did not like any of the charactets. However, I did enjoy the way it was written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    dml

    loved every word

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    Excellent

    This was a very pleasant read and as the story unfolded the author drew me into the circle of friendship that developed between these two women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Out of the ordinary

    Fiction is usually not my cup of tea, because it can be predictable and shallow, but Olsson's "Astrid & Veronika" caught my eye, probably because the names are very European. Two very different women, one young and one old, each struggling with their past, come together and form a bond that only some of us are ever fortunate to experience. It will leave you feeling tender and strong at the same time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2013

    Beautiful story! Loved it.

    Beautiful story! Loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    was happy to reach the end.

    This story did not come together for me. Neither character made much of an impression, neither was very likeable. I spent too much time reading about their meals and their daily excursions. No weight to the story at all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 3, 2010

    I have recommended this book to everyone I know and not one has been disappointed with it. They have thanked me for telling them about it.

    If you can read only one book, read this slim volume about Astrid and Veronika and the friendship these too unlikely women develop. It is a marvelous tale which transcends age, genre and personal preferences. It reaches for your heartstrings, pulls hard and does not let go even after you read the final page. It is about a friendship which goes beyond the definition of the term. Both women are suffering in their own way from personal demons and their relationship enables them to work them through and find contentment. I read it two years ago and still think of it with amazing warmth and affection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    tears galore!

    This was such a beautiful story. How two women happened to touch each others lives. I cried, cried and cried more!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2009

    For avid readers.

    Get ready for an extremely well written novel. Get ready for an unusual friendship.
    Get ready for a book you will not be able to put down. Get ready....you are in for a treat!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Memorable and poignant...

    This book was interesting and memorable. There are subtle inuendos throughout that leave the reader wondering the details of some situations and the motivations of the characters for their choices and actions. This one will stay with you for awhile after you put it down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    Sweet!

    Great book for the beach.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Great story.

    Very original touching story. Well written. Highly recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Easy read

    The characters are so easy to like and yet so different. Very unusual plot about two women at different stages in their lives who form a friendship.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2008

    A warm, emotional story

    While I agree it is unusual to move next to someone and immediately spill your life's story, I still found this book very enjoyable. The journey and friendship these two 'lonely' women share was inspiring to me. A quick and easy read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    Easily forgotten...

    I was very surprised to see this novel get such positive reviews. It is a story of two supposedly very private women who do not tell their secrets. One moves in next door to the other and they immediately spill their guts about their entire lives to each other. None of the characters are remotely likeable and the author spends far more time on detailing each meal they eat and what they are wearing than building a story line.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Fantastic!

    I loved it! The discription of place, the friendship between two women, awsome. Can't wait for Linda Olsson's next book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    MEMORABLE

    What an unexpected find. A truly thought provoking story of two people who are of different ages and on different paths ... but able to give to each other. A wonderful, difficult to put down book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2007

    One of the most beautiful books I've read...

    Gorgeous writing, nothing superfluous. I sometimes get so tired of reading books that are nothing but stupid analogies one after the other. This book had none of that, and I really felt as if the characters were realistic and true. Astrid and Veronika both have their own painful pasts, but meeting each other allows them to unburden themselves and form a strong bond. I like that the two characters were so different in age - today's world doesn't seem to afford us many glimpses of the special relationships that can occur between older and younger people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)