Ruth Rendell: Asta's Book

(1443 words)
  • Susan A. Rowland (University of Greenwich)

Written by Ruth Rendell under the nom-de-plume of Barbara Vine, the story of Asta’s Book opens in 1905, when a Danish family arrives in London and the lonely young mother, Asta, begins a diary. After Asta’s death more than sixty years later, her daughter Swanny discovers a huge pile of diaries which, since they are written in Danish, she can barely read. Fascinated by their contents, the widowed Swanny begins a new life as their editor and translator. Once published, Asta’s Book becomes a sensation, a phenomenal bestseller. However only her close family know the real reason for Swanny’s obsession with her mother’s diaries. For all their apparent eloquence and detailed chronicling of d…

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Rowland, Susan A.. "Asta's Book". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 June 2005
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]

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