Augusta's Daughter: Life in Nineteenth Century Sweden
Excerpt: "Presently the evenness of his breathing told her he was asleep. For a long time she lay on her back just as he had left her, mulling over her situation. In those brief minutes everything had supposedly righted itself. She had officially left her girlhood behind forever and become a woman. The days of wearing her hair down her back in a long braid were gone, although she was not yet entitled to wear a married woman’s kerchief. Nor did she any longer belong to the group of young housemaids who had been her friends, nor to a group of married women whom she hardly knew. All at once she felt very alone, not knowing what was expected of her. The only thing she knew for sure was that her life had taken a false turn, and she didn’t know how to set it right again." ========================= Nineteenth century Swedish peasant life was not always the dance around the Midsummer pole portrayed by the artists of the time. Those same peasants lived daily lives in the shadow of the all-powerful village church, controlled by the countless rules, customs, and traditions that governed every aspect of their existence, leaving no room for individual deviations. When it became known that Augusta Torsdotter's daughter Elsa-Carolina was illegitimate, the course of both of their lives irrevokably changed. As an adult, Elsa-Carolina immigrated to America, turning her back on the past. It wasn't until three-quarters of a century later, at the age of 94, that she returned to Sweden, to come to terms with her girlhood. "The harshness of Swedish peasant life and landscape is beautifully chronicled in Judit Martin's novel. Her knowledge of the culture, customs, work, superstitions, and attitudes of the day opens up that world for those of us seeking to know our Swedish ancestors." —Joan Morrison Granddaughter of Swedish immigrants Charleston, Maine ===================== "Wonderful and evocative! A captivating and enlightening read!" —Mr. Jan Smedh Bookseller The English Bookshop Upsala & Stockholm, Sweden This book is intended for mature audiences.
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