The Brides of Midsummer
by Vilhelm Moberg, Sweden, author of the Emigrants series,
translated by Gudrun Brunot.
On the special night of Midsummer's Eve, when unmarried men and women dance and some unusual activities are permitted, the Bridal Spring has special powers. Vilhelm Moberg introduces four musicians on the the last day that each one will ever know: a curmudgeonly fiddler from the 1930's, a sad and concientious key-harp player from the plague era of 1711, a ne'er-do-well who plays the flute in 1545, and a goat-horn blower from prehistoric times who, like the others, only seeks happiness with a woman. Binding their stories together is the voice of the Bridal Spring itself, tart and grudgingly compasssionate - and slow to reveal its secret,
Paperback, 170pp. 1946, 2014 translated edition.