“Give her the August Prize!”
Anne Swärd’s new novel published to great praise
Under false names, young Sandrine comes from the darkness of war into a sun-drenched retardation in Sweden. The year is 1945. Her only baggage is a child she’s planning to get rid of, and a secret she’s prepared to do anything to keep.
Seven months later she is getting married on an island far out in the archipelago. Female Counselor Ivan Ceder has applied for an exemption for his bride-to-be, the not yet legal Sandrine. Background: Unknown. Seventeen years old, with death behind her and life in front of her?
By saying yes to Ivan, Sandrine marries into a strange world: the great upper-class Ceder family. During the wedding night, a dangerous snowstorm enters the archipelago and the whole party is trapped on the island. It is as if this night foretells how the rest of the marriage will develop – an ice cold mesallians built on secrets, lies and fears.
Vera is Anne Swärd’s fourth novel, about flight and survival, about mothers and daughters; about guilt and love that carry on for generations. It was published Friday September 15th and has during the weekend gotten marvelous reviews in Expressen, Dala-Demokraten, Dagens Nyheter and SVT Kulturnyheterna:
”Vera” is reminiscent of Ingmar Berman’s austere existential dramas set in high society and in barren coastal landscapes /… / Anne Swärd is one of Sweden’s most compelling contemporary authors.
Her style is grand and epic, luminous and plot-driven and she unabashedly uses great emotional expressions /… / a bewitching fairy-tale.
Anne Swärd’s web – full of secrets, lies and mysteries – is so intricate and astonishing, a genuine page-turner with just as much poetic finesse as terrifying events /… / Swärd’s book is everything but black and white, it’s rather blue like the sea. The sea as beautiful, like ice, as cold, like enigmatic, alluring and frightening.
Anne Swärd’s novels always have a magnificent tone, written with a strong sense of atmosphere and an eloquent narrative – it’s almost like a beautiful painting by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershöi, foreboding secrets on the other side of the door, and when I describe ”Vera” it resembles an evil fairy tale, illusively characterised as a Captain Bluebeard with an incarcerated woman.
Sveriges Television Kulturnyheterna