Linda Olsson's novel Astrid and Veronika is an ode to friendship, to love, which should always be embraced when it unexpectedly arrives. The unlikely friendship between Astrid and Veronika begins soon after Veronika moves into the home next to Astrid's. Veronika, a 30-ish author, has come to this somewhat isolated place to gather her thoughts and creative energy for her next novel, and to heal from the recent events of her life. Astrid is a 70-ish recluse, having retreated from life in response to the sorrows of her life.
Unexpectedly, they find in each other a friend, a confident, someone with whom to share their stories without judgment, with nothing but acceptance. It remains a mystery how this came about, how each was able to let down her guard and reveal her self and her life to the other. Perhaps each had a need to be seen and heard in that way, and serendipitously found each other in time. Perhaps it was the remoteness of the location with just those two as neighbors. Perhaps this alchemy can never be explained, just embraced when one is lucky enough to find it.
This is a quiet, reflective book, with lessons about how to live your life, how to claim your life as your own.