Excerpt: Presently the evenness of his breathing told her he was asleep. For a long time she lay on her back just as he had left her, mulling over her situation. In those brief minutes everything had supposedly righted itself. She had officially left her girlhood behind forever and become a woman. The days of wearing her hair down her back in a long braid were gone, although she was t yet entitled to wear a married woman's kerchief. Nor did she any longer belong to the group of young housemaids who had been her friends, r to a group of married women whom she hardly knew. All at once she felt very alone, t kwing what was expected of her. The only thing she knew for sure was that her life had taken a false turn, and she didn't kw how to set it right again. ========================= Nineteenth century Swedish peasant life was t always the dance around the Midsummer pole portrayed by the artists of the time. Those same peasants lived daily lives in the shadow of the all-powerful village church, controlled by the countless rules, customs, and traditions that governed every aspect of their existence, leaving room for individual deviations. When it became kwn that Augusta Torsdotter's daughter Elsa-Carolina was illegitimate, the course of both of their lives irrevokably changed. As an adult, Elsa-Carolina immigrated to America, turning her back on the past. It wasn't until three-quarters of a century later, at the age of 94, that she returned to Sweden, to come to terms with her girlhood. The harshness of Swedish peasant life and landscape is beautifully chronicled in Judit Martin's vel. Her kwledge of the culture, customs, work, superstitions, and attitudes of the day opens up that world for those of us seeking to kw our Swedish ancestors. -Joan Morrison Granddaughter of Swedish immigrants Charleston, Maine ===================== Wonderful and evocative! A captivating and enlightening read! -Mr. Jan Smedh Bookseller The English Bookshop Upsala & Stockholm, Sweden This book is intended for mature audiences.
About the Author Judit Martin, whose ancestors were early English and Scottish immigrants, grew up in Franklin, Michigan. After high school in nearby Birmingham, she attended Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, and in 1961 graduated from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, with a degree in English and a teaching certificate. She taught for several years before setting out to fulfill her childhood dream of spending two years travelling in Europe. Captivated by the experience, she extended her stay with a job teaching English in a Turkish girls' school in Izmir, Turkey, followed by a job at the American School in London. When she finally came to Sweden in 1969 she fell in love with the countryside, with its remnants of the old peasant culture, and settled there. As a single mother, she raised her two Swedish-born daughters out in the country near the mining village of Zinkgruvan, where she still lives in her slightly primitive old house. For many years she worked as a weather observer for the Swedish weather bureau, going outside every three hours, day and night, to observe and report the weather, a job which left her much free time in which to write. She has had several short stories published in Scottish literary magazines and two documentary books published in Swedish. Augusta's Daughter is her first published novel. Although I have dual citizenship, Judit says, after over forty years in Sweden, I don't feel like an American, nor am I a Swede. I am just myself, which suits me perfectly.