It’s been a rollercoaster. I suppose all releases are like this, to some extent. The nailbiting wait. Finally replaced by the proof. Or whatever term one should use for reviews.
For me, for some reason this launch has felt more turbulent than any of the previous ones. The reviews have been all over the place. One common observation: many reviewers have used expressions like ‘reluctantly, I found myself drawn in’ or ‘I couldn’t help but surrender’. As if they have been fending off being emotionally affected by the story. I am not quite sure how to interpret this.
One huge relief has been the overall very positive comments about the language. This is the first time I have written in Swedish, and I have felt very vulnerable in this regard.
Also, it has been interesting to note that several reviews point to ‘Sonata for Miriam’ as my best book yet. At the time of that release, they certainly did not say so …
Having just finished reviewing a novel, I am amazed at how so many reviews – positive or negative, and not just those of my novel – are so flippant, so casually written. And often so very poorly researched. Some reviewers, it is obvious, have not even bothered to finish the book. Some seem to have set out with a perpared opinion and have sought only to have it justified. Proper analysis of story and language is rare. And many seem to have another agenda, not directly related to the novel, at heart. So, the more grateful I feel for the good ones – reviews that are well written and well considered. Whether positive or negative.
Many reviews can be read on the Svensk Bokhandel (Swedish Bookstores) homepage, in Swedish only: http://www.svb.se/bokrecensioner/det-goda-inom-dig
Here are excerpts from two reviews:
Inger Dahlman, NorrkĂ¶pings Tidningar
Det goda inom mig hĂ¶r till de romaner som biter sig fast i lĂ€sarens medvetande. Personerna finns dĂ€r som levande gestalter som man gĂ€rna skulle vilja fortsĂ€tta att fĂ¶lja. Och aldrig fĂ¶rr har jag lĂ€st om en vuxen mĂ€nniska som, liksom Marianne, med sĂ„dan finkĂ€nslighet och Ă¶mhet nĂ€rmar sig ett skadskjutet barn. PĂ„ behĂ¶rigt avstĂ„nd ger hon pojken, som erbjuder sig att bli bĂ„de hennes barn och hennes bror, utrymme fĂ¶r sin taggiga lilla varelse samtidigt som man fĂ„r fĂ¶lja hur han fĂ¶rlĂ¶ser henne.
‘Det goda inom dig’ (‘The kindness of your nature) is one of those novels that stick in the mind of the reader. The charactes are there as real life people that you would like to continure to follow. And never before have I read about a human being who is able to approach a small damaged child with such sensitivity and gentleness as Marianne. From a safe distance she allows the the boy, who offers to be her child as well as her brother, appropriate space for his little thorny self, meanwhile allowing us to follow how he is able to release her.
Magnus Eriksson, Svenska Dagbladet
‘Sina tidigare bĂ¶cker skrev Linda Olsson pĂ„ engelska, den hĂ€r gĂ„ngen har hon skrivit parallellt pĂ„ svenska och engelska. Men uttrycksformen blir densamma, ett utmejslat sprĂ„k dĂ€r varje kĂ€nslodetalj och nyans ringas in i formuleringar som strĂ€var efter precision och otvetydighet.
Det Ă€r romanens centrala linjer. Sedan vĂ€ver Linda Olsson in ytterligare dramatiska och traumatiska brĂ€nnpunkter som fĂ¶r att fĂ¶rstĂ€rka tematiken, skeenden som ocksĂ„ fĂ¶rstĂ€rker den skenbara determinism som kvinnan till slut Ă¶vervinner.
Det Ă€r konsekvent genomfĂ¶rt, och Linda Olsson skapar lyhĂ¶rt viss trovĂ€rdighet i den psykologiska uppbyggnaden.’
‘Her previous books Linda Olsson wrote in English, this time she has written simultaneously in English and Swedish. But the form of expression remains the same, a chiselled language where every emtional detail and nuance is captured in formulations that strive for precision and clarity.
These are the main story lines of the novel. Then Linda Olsson weaves in further dramatic and traumatic foci in order to reinforce the theme, passages that also reinforce the determinism that the woman is eventually able to conquer.
It is consistently carried out, and with sensitivity Linda Olsson creates credibility in the psychological construction.
All this said, ‘Det goda inom dig’ was among the ten best selling hard back novels last week!