Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs – Linda Olsson

Original book title: Let me sing you gentle songs
Author: Linda Olsson
Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag287 pages
Language: Swedish
Original language: English
Year of publication:  2005

After several in my circle of friends talking about how much they enjoyed this book, I decided to read it as well.

In Linda Olsson Let me sing you gentle songs we follow Veronika who one evening in March moves into a secluded cottage in a small village in Dalarna. She wants peace and quiet and a place where she can finish writing her novel. She also wants to be alone to get over a great sorrow. In the house next-door lives an old woman, Astrid, who quietly watches Veronica when she moves in. Between them sprout an unusual friendship that changes both their lives forever.

I tried to like this book. I tried not to roll my eyes but couldn’t help myself. This book is sprinkled with a lot of cute metaphors mixed with melancholy sentences. I also didn’t get a real grasp of who Veronika or Astrid really is as characters. The reader gets to know both characters dark and tragic past, but I still can’t say I know who they really are. Astrid is called the witch in the village but the readers never really finds out why, and her character is the complete opposite of her nickname, which for me is confusing. Who is Astrid? Why is she the witch? If she is so rude as everyone says in the village, why is she so nice to Veronika?

Even Veronika’s character lacks depth. It is obvious that something bad has happened to her and that she needs to get over the grief, but it seems to be more than that. Unfortunately, we don’t get to know more.

It is a well-written book, but I did not like the style. The whole book felt over dramatized, making it difficult for me to take it all seriously. Instead of being a nice story about friendship this book turned out to be a sentimental encounter between two women.


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