Near the river Klarälven, snug in the dense forest landscape of northern Värmland, lies the Swedish village of Osebol. It is a quiet place, one where relationships take root over decades yet doors are always open to new arrivals; and where, even as history makes its presence felt, the bustle of city life is replaced by the sound of wind in the trees.
In the last half-century, the automation of the lumber industry and the steady drip of relocations to the cities for work have seen Osebol's adult population dwindle to only 40-odd residents. But still, life goes on. Those who have inherited their farms for generations live alongside recent arrivals from near and far. People age; children grow up. Heirlooms are passed from hand to hand, and memories from mouth to mouth.
In this extraordinary book, Marit Kapla has gathered the voices of the villagers themselves, interviewing almost all of those remaining between the ages of 18 and 92. Arranged with only a handful of lines on each page, they tell of their griefs and joys, their resentments and loves, and their triumphs and losses. To read Osebol is to lose oneself in its gentle rhythms of simple language and white space, and to emerge feeling like one has really grown to know the inhabitants of this close-knit community, nestled among the trees in a changing world.