Season of the Nymph
Season of the NymphSusanne Axmacher
Millie Bachmann is 19 years old and lives in Stockholm. It is 1939 and Millie, who attends a domestic science school, dreams of becoming a journalist. Despite her strict conservative parents and the tense political climate, Millie is full of life and longing for adulthood. She is courted by journalist Carl Becker, with whom she falls hopelessly in love. They go to the theatre, sit in cafés with their friends Falck and Marietta, frantically debating the impending war as they smoke and drink Pernod. Millie feels strong and forges ambitious plans for the future: then she discovers that she is expecting a child and her fall begins.
Her parents are merciless. Millie cannot bring shame on the family; she is sent to stay with her grandparents in the country. The pregnancy will be hidden and the child given away. Millie, who never had the chance to tell Carl that she is expecting his child, is completely isolated.
The war approaches. Ivar, an unsociable employee at Carl’s newspaper, is recruited to report on communist elements. Ivar decides that Carl, who has been sent to Helsinki as Sweden’s first Finnish correspondent, is a communist spy. When Carl is taken in for questioning, Millie also becomes embroiled in the conspiracy…
Season of the Nymph is a subtle historical novel by a very gifted writer who dares to experiment with narrative technique and doesn’t shy away from drama. The political situation in Finland, against the backdrop of its very recent independence from its eternal enemy, Russia, is keenly portrayed. But perhaps most of all, what consistently shines through the narrative is the urge to survive, to create one’s own life almost regardless of the cost. The depiction and character portrayal of Carl, Ivar and especially Millie, make this novel an unforgettable reading experience.