Review: Monika Fagerholm’s “Wonderful Women by the Water”

by writereaderly

monika fagerholm wonderful women by the waterThis Swedish-language novel is set primarily in the summers of 1963-5, and uses 7-9 year old Thomas’ point of view to show the make-fun aimlessness of the middle classes (on holiday, but also in general). The author is skilful in her child’s-eye evocation of the adults and their relationships: it’s an eye-opener to realise Thomas’ adults would have been in their mid-late-20s, and that I now think of them as so young! The forest and lake world of the child characters is also well drawn and believable, and I enjoyed the bulk of the book. The final 1970s section, however, seemed superfluous, and leached some of the book’s power. Quite good.

Where it came from: Library
Time and manner of reading:
Two or three bedreads, interested but not fascinated
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that: The Women’s Room, The Feminine Mystique, etc. were all long overdue for women if this book is anything to go by!
Who I’d recommend it to:
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman