The Fever Girl
ORIGINAL TITLE: Feberflickan
AUTHOR: Elisabeth Östnäs
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Columbi Publishing
The Fever Girl is a depiction of a family in disintegration. It is a tragedy, a dark but subtle story dealing with the very worst things in life. One hot and stifling September day, Luna moves through her home where her father lies dead beside a woman never referred to by Luna as anything but “she”. The reader grows acutely aware of Luna’s actions but her thoughts remain out of focus and feverish.
The glass of the mirror had cracked, a deep fissure seeking its way like a rivulet of water in a dry riverbed… I could not do anything about it… Mother had looked at herself in that glass. It retained memories of her. When I saw the reflection of my face, I could make out her beautiful features behind my own ordinariness. She was like a shadow behind me. She is still there. In my room we are alone. They locked all the doors in the house and said I was not to walk through the rooms any more… My room is untouched. My father and ‘she’ are there in the rest of the house. They are everywhere now. Birgit, our domestic, has the day off. I don’t know what will happen when she comes back.
“A Gothic crime novel, in pieces like a jigsaw… It is stylish, tight and suggestive – and Östnäs navigates skilfully around the trap of things too clearly suggested. Whatever is floating, fleeting and light is a necessity in this short (128 pages) novel which, in spite of its vagueness, is as suspenseful as any crime book one could mention.“
“Elisabeth Östnäs… has succeeded in writing a dark, frightening and addictive story… So if you are lovers of the darkness as I am, hurry out and buy it. I can guarantee that this is a book you’ll love.”
“The words forming this tale are a fantastic mixture of beautiful, uncomfortable, petrifying, intense, digusting words. Words welded together by Östnäs with a good deal of skill.”
“In less than 128 pages the author demonstrates how, with focus and stringency, she does not need more to describe the downfall of an entire family and how life goes on, without necessarily implying any understanding or forgiveness..”
“Feberflickan belongs to that group of books that can be re-read any number of times without growing tired of them. It is gorgeous and filled with a wealth of detail. It is like looking into an old doll’s house from the 1800’s or something. One constantly notices another, exquisite little detail.”