cover image The Girl Between

The Girl Between

Lisa Stromme. Sourcebooks Landmark, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-4921-2

Stromme takes the reader on a journey to late-19th-century Norway as she weaves a tale of the inspiration for Edvard Munch’s famed painting, The Scream. Johanne Lien has lived her entire life in the small community of Asgardstrand. During the summer when she is 16, her family rents out their home and lives in a fisherman’s hut while Johanne works as a maid for the wealthy Ihlen family and paints. She develops a special friendship with Tullik, one of the Ihlen family’s daughters. But Johanne is torn between completing her duties as a maid and following the edicts of Tullik, who demands that Johanne accompany her to the house of painter Edvard Munch. Though Johanne enjoys the respite from her job and embraces the visits to Munch’s home so that she can work on her painting, she is worried about the romantic relationship developing between Tullik and Edvard, who is married to his art. As Johanne helps hide the paintings that Edvard gives Tullik, she is coping with her own budding sexuality. Stromme expertly weaves real historical figures into this well-crafted novel which explores the nature of obsessive love and the possible inspiration for The Scream. (Apr.)