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Can hope and reconciliation be found after so many years of estrangement?

Honest and moving, this intense story carefully tracks a relationship stunted in childhood but given a second chance.

One sister have I in our house,
And one, a hedge away.
There’s only one recorded,
But both belong to me.

Maria has found a sanctuary in a rented house, overlooking a small Spanish village by the sea. She is coming to terms with losing the love of her life. But her solitude and the places that have become special to her are about to be encroached upon by the arrival of her younger sister, Emma.

Will the intrusion only serve to evoke the bad memories of childhood or will the impending visit help them restart their lives?

This is a moving and heart-warming story of two sisters negotiating personal tragedies, past alienation and their own failings to try to come together in understanding and love.

‘It is beautiful, sad and hopeful.’— Norran, Sweden

Reviews

It is beautiful, sad and hopeful.

Norran, Sweden

[The novel] is a life journey, condensed into six days, yet covering more than forty years where so much has happened. It is filled with memories, hatred and love, envy, loathing, accusations and surprises.

NA, Sweden

Once more, Olsson has managed to create characters who get under the skin of the readers. It is a quiet, but deep family tale about love, betrayal, pain and about escaping reality.

Stine Grabas, Litteraturporten, Denmark

What is so interesting is that large stories of family are encompassed in really small action . . . the action is quiet, measured and intriguing. There's a nice lightness in this writing and what is unsaid takes a bit of time to absorb and rather than being hit over the head . . . the author knows to trust the readers and we become softly and quite cleverly caught into the web of the secrets and the regrets . . . the story is about love and deception and loss and regained friendship . . . the narrative is really strong.

Rae McGregor, Radio NZ

This is the first of her novels I have read but it is so moving and the characters so haunting that I will be reading all her others.

Rosie Sanderson, Whangarei Report

Linda Olsson has a beautiful writing style and this book, like her previous novels, slowly enveloped me. There is no deep mystery nor suspense to keep you glued to the page, yet Linda manages to shine a light on everyday relationships in such a thoughtful and gentle way that I find compelling.

Wairarapa Times-Age Weekend

Olsson did not disappoint, her elegant style and attention to detail was again evident in this work, as the small steps in the sisters’ lives helped them to move into the future. The stunning cover invites the reader in. Anyone who enjoys a book about family relationships will find this a rewarding read.

Lesley McIntosh, Booksellers Blog

. . . she brings an outsider's sensibility to her writing, bittersweet explorations of lives shaped by love and loss, abandonment and memory, loneliness and connection. . . . Olsson is a gentle author and carefully navigates her way through the narrative, allowing room for both women to speak and hear each other's truths in a way that opens rather than closes the door to mutual understanding.

Cushla McKinney, Otago Daily Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143770763

    April 30, 2018

    Penguin

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9780143770770

    April 30, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

Extract

I CAN’T EXPLAIN WHY I did it. Often, it is as if a part of me has its own impulsive life beyond my control. I am astounded at the mess it causes. And occasionally at the good that comes of it regardless. But, whichever way, it is always my conscious self that has to deal with the consequences. Good or bad.

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Book Clubs
SHORT STORY CLUB – 3 MAY 2018

Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 3 May 2018

Also by Linda Olsson

The Blackbird Sings at Dusk
Kindness of Your Nature
Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs
Sonata for Miriam

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Golden House
On Chesil Beach
Breath
Ready Player One
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Colombiano
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Animal Farm
Sanctuary
Norwegian Wood