“A subtle and poignant novel set in a small town in Sweden during World War I, and 60 years later, wherein a woman reflects on her life choices and their long-reaching consequences.”
Mrs. Dalloway’s Recommended Read, San Francisco Chronicle
“The love, loss, and heartache here will take your breath away. Just beautifully written, by an author who has come into her own.”
Susan Mary Malone, Author of Over the Pass, and Other Stories (Dark Horse Fiction, 2018)
“Rich description, focus on tiny details, and pithy summations of the characters make it hard for the reader to believe that this is not actually a memoir, so totally does the author inhabit the world of which she writes.”
Annie Whitehead, Discovering Diamonds
“Based on actual events, Fylgia lures the reader with unanswered questions amid vivid evocations of life in war-time Sweden. With this novel Hjalmarson shifts from historian to master storyteller. At once flinty and subtle, Fylgia is a most satisfying read.”
Jacquelynn Baas, Author of Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life (MIT, Fall 2019)
“I was completely enchanted by the Swedish lore and atmosphere. This storyline creates a sense of mystery and intrigue and evokes mood and expectation fused with themes of birth, death, history, religion, and war. This is a classic tale and each character is brilliantly written so that they remind us of the eminent frailties of human nature.”
Lori Shriver, Lori’s Book Loft
“This is a historical fiction memoir with a bite, as the story draws you in, and draws you on.”
Sam Law, It’s Good to Read
“No spoilers here, except to say about the ending—powerful, searing, magnificent really.”
Pam Reitman, Goodreads
“This book is fierce, and tender, and resolute. Just like Sweden.”
Janet Kitchens, Goodreads
“Something intriguing and gripping flows through every page of this unique work of fiction. We move with the people of Hult through WWI, the Spanish Flu, the Great Recession, WWII and modern times, a world where matchmaking still exists but love finds a way beyond public restrictions. This is classic historical fiction spanning several decades and revealing the characters behind the veil of Swedish law. Beautifully crafted.”
Viviane Crystal, The Historical Novels Review
by Birgitta Hjalmarson
This essay was first published by Women Writers, Women's Books in July 2019. Garbo portrayed you in Queen Christina, beautiful, when you, in fact, were not. These days you’re celebrated as an early feminist, although you, of course, would have sneered. And to be...
When I was young, I went crayfishing with my father in Sweden. Although I can’t remember the exact year, it must have been on August 7, for that was the day the season began. My father and his brothers were fortunate enough to have their own fishing waters. They had...
Before Fylgia, there was another story, told by the villagers themselves. Many of my readers have asked about it, and so I decided to post it here. This is the sixth installment. Not yet fiction, it occupies a realm of its own. Carl Fredrik Lundgren was a man...