Fylgia

by Birgitta Hjalmarson,
(2018, Bedazzled Ink)

The First World War rages on the continent. Hidden in the forest of Sweden, a country church gleams in the sun. Anna, a young woman, sits in the front pew. The vicar pauses to wipe his brow. “Think what harm will come to your children if your marriages begin in sin.”

        After the sermon, Anna hurries away, black-clad, winding in and out among the pines. Banks run steep into a lake, and the cry of an osprey pierces the air. Fredrik, her lover, waits in a deserted cabin, his jacket slung over a wooden chair.

“How did she find her way when the map she followed was flawed?”

      Sixty years later, Anna gives refuge to a young niece, whose marriage is falling apart. Fredrik is long since dead. She still blames him for the death of their child, yet she misses his scent that would linger on her skin, like the moon that shone on the snow and colored it blue.

      Each day she visits the child’s grave, an old woman in a tweed beret, her back no longer as straight. Time after time her thoughts return to the past, when she refused to accept the age-old beliefs the village stood for. Was she wrong to break the rules? How did she go on living when all seemed lost? How did she find her way when the map she followed was flawed?

“Think what harm will come to your children if your marriages begin in sin.”

Journal

by Birgitta Hjalmarson

Devil, Reformer, or Both?

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson Published in 1839, Det går an* shocked men and women both. The author, Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, found that his friends had turned against him; he had to resign from his position as headmaster at a school in...

On Writing.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson This interview was originally published by Lori's Book Loft at author-spotlight-birgitta-hjalmarson.html. Please tell us a little about growing up in Sweden and your studies? I grew up in a town on the West Coast...

When Swedish Farmers Marched.

Journal by Birgitta Hjalmarson       In the years before the First World War, as tension mounted on the continent, the Swedish political parties drew their own internal battle lines. The Conservatives championed a stronger defense, opposed by...