Saturday, October 30, 2010

The true deceiver

As an admirer of Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books for children I was interested to read this novel written for adults. Initially published in 1982 but not published in English until 2009, The True Deceiver examines the relationships of people living in a small Swedish village in the middle of winter. The main characters are Katri Kling and her brother, Mats, both considered outcasts by most of the other villagers, and the artist, Anna Aemelin, who lived alone in a large house outside the village. When Katri and Mats move into Anna's home the lives of Katri and Anna, in particular, change as they are forced to re-evaluate their beliefs and thoughts as they adjust to the changes caused by their new situation. The concept of what is truth and what are lies is a focal point of the book. Several of the villagers also impact on this story as does the setting of the isolated  village in winter. The use of sparse use of language in this beautifully written adds to the enjoyment. The book begins with an introduction by Ali Smith.

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