January 07, 2010

Kerstin Ekman provides literary nourishment - Swedish style

I read Ekman's Blackwater after reading The Dog - a beautifully written story of a puppy lost in the woods and struggling to survive. The seemingly simple tale offers a more complex exploration of trust and friendship and the relationship between man and dog. I enjoyed her writing style so much that I looked for more of her books and ordered Blackwater on Inter-library-loan through Camden Library - and I was glad I did. I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time.

Blackwater is a literary thriller set in the far northern forests of Sweden. The story spans 20 years and centres around Annie Raft and her involvement in an unsolved double murder of two tourists one midsummer's eve in 1974. The description of the long-lit midsummer nights creates an eerie atmosphere and Ekman brilliantly sets the scene of Swedish life and draws the reader in with a complex, intricately woven plot and realistic interesting characters. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. For me, it was one of those books that reminds us why we love reading.

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