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Synopsis

No doubt about it, Lindgren has joined the ranks of the greatest writers" Michel Crepu, La Croix

The woman had come from a city in the south to lecture in a small village amid the snowbound forests of northern Sweden. She was a writer. After the lecture in the village hall an old man who had been sleeping at the back introduced himself, as she was to be his guest for the night. So it was that she moved in with Hadar, a man who lived on his own and was in the last stages of cancer. Not another house in sight, save for one just a field away; there lived Hadar's brother Olof, also on his own, and dying of heart disease. Neither brother would consent to die, the woman discovered, for that would give the other the satisfaction of outliving him.

Cut off by a snow blizzard, the woman settles into Hadar's attic, leaving only to pick her way across to Olof's, and in the days that follows she acts as both nurse and confessor to each of them. She learns of the woman they shared and the son of disputed paternity, uncovering the tissue of lies and self-deceptions that keeps the ailing brothers alive in a bond of mutual loathing. Ultimately to her roles of nurse and confessor she adds a third: the hand of Providence . . .

The author of The Way of a Serpent and Light is one of Sweden's outstanding practitioners of black humour. In Sweetness he has achieved a work of brilliant comic invention.

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