Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1990)
After a long interval, here's an intriguing, beautifully written novel from the fine Swedish author of The Green Coat (1977). Traumatized by her parents' tragic death early in her childhood and by her relatives' subsequent denial that it occurred--which deprived her of mourning--Nora is a withdrawn, solitary 14-year-old whose only real friend is Dag, the cousin whose family has raised her. After the family moves to a new apartment, Nora becomes aware of a ghostly presence; there are other mysterious occurrences, like wrong numbers that coincidentally save her from accidents. Another strange telephone call leads to Nora's receiving a lovely old doll that turns out to have links with Nora's family's past, with her new home--and, ultimately, with a cousin her own age whose existence has been concealed from her. Like a Bergman film, this exquisitely crafted, multileveled story explores its theme through past events that both parallel and underlie the angst of the present. Though the characters are many, their roles are well defined and their stories deftly linked. Daringly, Gripe uses multiple coincidences to underline the supernatural element here and to accentuate the characters' complex bonds. A satisfying mystery--as well as a fascinating philosophical novel concerning abandonment, family ties, and self-realization. 1990, Harper & Row, $14.95; PLB $14.89. Starred Review. © 1990 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Supernatural forces begin to surround Nora when she and the family that has taken care of her since her parents' tragic death years before move to a strange, old apartment. Guided by dreams, mysteriously revealed messages in a book of folklore, odd coincidences and the proddings of Dag, the boy she has grown up with, Nora is led to a toy repair shop where she is given a beautiful old doll that seems almost alive. But Nora's ultimate destination, and the purpose of her journey, are shrouded in mystery. Incident follows incident and suspense mounts as a generations-old puzzle begins to unravel. Agnes Cecilia is a first-rate mystery, a precise, warm-hearted psychological study and a remarkably original ghost story wrapped up in one thoroughly engrossing book. Ages 12-up. (May)
|Language||Call Number||LCCN||Dewey Decimal||ISBN/ISSN|
|English (eng)||PZ7.G8875 Ag 1990
0060222816 : $14.95|
0060222824 (lib. bdg.) : $14.89