I want to thank the author of the blog which sent me in search of this amazing book. It took me a while to track her down - I felt sure I'd seen the book reviewed here and was a bit flummoxed when I couldn't find it. Fortunately, I could remember asking for it in Cheltenham on a particular day - the 19th February - so did a trawl of likely blogs around that date and BINGO! Thank you Badger!
(Go on, you're impressed at my detective skills, aren't you? I was!)
Anyway, it wasn't an easy book to find. Cheltenham Waterstones told me that it wasn't available to them, it was available only via Amazon uk Marketplace and at the time I wasn't that bothered.
I should have been.
I found it, quite by chance, in the NK department store in Stockholm and remembered it because of its beautiful cover. As one of the Amazon reviewers comments, the beauty of the cover is only surpassed by the contents - it was a remarkably satisfying read and one which left me feeling the richer for having read it. Yes, nothing much happens, there's a cast of only two principal characters and the overwhelming feeling is one of quiet stillness. But there is a true beginning, which gripped me from the first page, a real middle where the story develops and the characters are fleshed out and best of all, a satisfying conclusion. In contrast to the book chosen by my bookgroup this month which irritated me on almost every page, Astrid and Veronika will be one of those books I will remember and cherish for quite some time. More about the book on the author's page here.
Oh, and quite incidentally, my copy is a US Penguin edition, bound in a way which allows single handed reading and an intact spine simply due to the quality of the paper used. For this reason, I really enjoy reading US paperbacks - wish UK produced books behaved like this.
(Does anyone know what I mean by this?)