Albedo is a life-affirming ghost story for adults and teenagers. Fourteen-year-old Kajsa is alive but playing with death, and Desdemona is dead but longing for life. The two develop a friendship that transcends boundaries.
"I am Desdemona. I am diffuse like the voices you hear when you swim under water. I am who you talk to in your dreams. I may answer you.
When I sit in the attic with the dolls, drinking imaginary tea out of a dolls porcelain cup, at a doll party with no end, it is you I seek. My long white finger scratches the air. I write against the cracked wall. My name is Desdemona. I would have been a poet, loitering between artist cafes in my long hair, scarves and skirts, with a cherished pad of poetry at the ready. I would be difficult! And beautiful! But I died in 1986 at the age of fifteen. Instead of life, death came like a hole right through everything. Now I am the hole."
"I fall with the dust and cobwebs against the sweeping attic floor. My consciousness expands like a balloon when the physical no longer confines me. With a thought, I am with Kajsa on the train, watching her from the darkness on the other side of the window."
"I dreamed of one of the girls again. When I woke up, I felt as playful as I was long ago.
After I had dreamed, life seemed different. I saw it with new eyes. I want it, life. But in my own way, I want to live. As one who is free."
Review from the BTJ booklet:
Editor Magnus Öhrn
Albedo is a short novel for middle-aged people about fourteen-year-old Kajsa who faces a number of challenges in life. She has anorexia, misses her dead mother and her best friend who has moved to Uppsala; her father works most of the time and is rarely home. In addition, she has a less than pleasant stepmother to relate to. Then one day she receives an inheritance from an old relative, an old villa, which turns out to be the largest house in the town where they live.
Soon after they move in, Kajsa makes contact with the ghost girl Desdemona and her sisters. Like Kajsa, Desdemona struggles with various relationship problems, which has led to her unholy predicament. They soon become friends and learn from each other. Through meeting Desdemona, Kajsa recovers from her anorexia and her social problems are solved - and in return, Kajsa manages to arrange a meeting between the ghost sisters and their living mother so they can say goodbye to each other. This modern and imaginative take on The Ghost of Canterville depicts a heartfelt friendship that transcends life and death. The title, Albedo, probably alludes to the alchemical phase that gives birth to duality and increased self-awareness, an apt description of the book's theme.