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By Cecilia Ekbäck

Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maj, her husband Jan-Erik and her daughters Frederika and Marit arrive from their local Finland, hoping to put out of your mind the traumas in their previous and positioned down new roots during this harsh yet appealing land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose darkish historical past turns out to hang-out the lives of these who reside in its shadow.

While herding the family's goats at the mountain, Frederika occurs upon the mutilated physique of 1 in their pals, Eriksson. The dying is brushed aside as a wolf assault, yet Maj feels definite that the injuries may possibly merely were inflicted through one other guy. pressured to enquire regardless of her neighbors' unusual disinterest within the loss of life and the destiny of Eriksson's widow, Maj is drawn into the darkish historical past of tragedies and betrayals that experience taken position on Blackåsen. younger Frederika reveals herself pulled in the direction of the mountain to boot, feeling whatever not one of the adults round her appear to notice.

As the seasons switch, and the “wolf winter," the cruelest wintry weather in reminiscence, descends upon the settlers, Jan-Erik travels to discover paintings, and Maj unearths herself suffering for her family's survival during this land of winter-long darkness. because the snow gathers, the settlers' secrets and techniques are more and more laid naked. Scarce assets and the endless darkness strength them to return jointly, yet Maj, no longer figuring out who to belief and who may well betray her, is decided to discover the solutions for herself. quickly, Maj discovers the genuine fee of survival below the mountain, and what it's going to take to make it to spring.

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We all stood there stunned as Jorge was led away into the darkness. ” I whispered to Papí as the uniformed soldiers disappeared. The happiness and merriment of the moment before had been replaced by a sudden quiet fear. Papí shook his head, his face strained with worry. ” I asked. Again Papí shook his head. “I don’t know. ” Papí had told me about the co-op men, ordinary farmers like himself who were banding together with a common voice to get a good price for their crops. As it was, the Indios from the cantóns had to carry their crops for three or four hours to market.

Though he was shy, I knew Antonio was proud of me. “You are the first sister of mine to have a quinceañera,” he kept saying. My brother Lester was thirteen and the laziest of our family. He also was the most impulsive and short-tempered. ” I knew Lester’s voice held not one grain of sincerity. Lester always disappeared at the first hint of work. Two days before the celebration, Jorge needed help butchering the pig that Uncle Raphael gave us. He found Lester throwing corn husks at the dogs. ” he asked.

Papí unfolded the bundled shawl from his back and prepared for the giving of thanks. In front of the largest cave, he lit a large bundle of colored candles bound together so that they would burn as one on the ground. Then he lit small balls of the pine resin, trementina, in a bucket and added incense. He swung the smoking bucket in front of the flaming candles and voiced his thanks for hours. I sat quietly beneath a nearby tree and listened to every hypnotic word he spoke in our Indio language of Quiché.

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