For centuries, people have celebrated every Midsummer’s Eve at an ancient spring near a small Swedish village. On that special night, 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 last day that each one will ever know: a curmudgeonly fiddler from the 1930s, a sad and conscientious 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 compassionate—and slow to reveal its secret.
Each progression backward in time reflects Moberg’s rich knowledge of folklore and shows the changes in everyday life in Sweden’s past. First published in 1946, before the Emigrants novels, The Brides of Midsummer is a complex, compelling journey through the arc of human life.