Snares and Delusions
Dreams and nightmares take Hedda to hell and back.
The combined forces of opium and pain bring her face to face with her life. From rural Sweden in the late nineteenth century, over Silkeborg to the Danish Capital, and during the Great War, she experiences love and loss, poverty and betrayal.
Hedda gives up everything to win independence. She soon discovers that this is one thing to wish for, but another to achieve. Life handles her roughly, but can she develop strength of character? Will she pay for her freedom in ways she doesn’t anticipate?
© HMH, 2017
My first review
February 28, 2018
Another five-star review
July 14, 2018
Here’s the newest review for Snares and Delusions:
July 11, 2019Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We begin with a narrative frame of a woman on her death bed, seeing her life in vignettes and scenes. The time is far different from ours; assumptions are made concerning all the rules of love and marriage, motherhood and livelihood. Not every scene or conversation is a stone in a grand story-arc. But every conversation, every scene, serve as brushstrokes to the final picture of the dying woman’s life.
Hedda Gullberg is a survivor. Not a burned out anti-heroine indifferent to pain, whether hers or another’s. Nor a supergirl able to throw groping men over her shoulder. She is a bright young thing (plays the harmonium, can sew lace) with one super-power: the gift of forthrightness. She sees things are they are, and does not work to pretend she sees anything else. And early on she sees: the path her family pushes her down is destruction. Later she will come to see that the path all women in the 19th century are pushed down is destruction. But Hedda has a flame of defiance that gives her the strength to march the other way. Or run, when need be.
On occasion, her sight gives her strange visions; of life through other eyes, of magical folk, of secrets beyond this world. Interesting; but she has no time for magical visions. And they matter little to the story. They are mere side-effects to the clarity
‘Snares and Delusions’ – the world is full of them. H. M. Holten gives us the life of someone who sees past these tricks, and so saves herself. Not by absurd destiny, not by krypton muscles, but by sheer
Holten calls it ‘Snares and Delusions’; but it isn’t all dark vision. Hedda, in her final
This is a book that kept surprising me.