This is a story about two little girls. These are two very disturbed little girls. And they really like to sing ABBA songs. ABBA will never sound the same to me again.
Theres is found abandoned in the woods as a baby. With no family to call her own, she is taken in by Lennart and Laila, two aging musicians. Lennart and Laila almost made it big with several musical chart-toppers. But as time went on, their fame faded. But, their dreams of stardom never subdued. Their only child, Jerry, spent considerable time in detention and jail as an adolescent and now works shady jobs, living on society's fringes. He's never made his parents proud. Now, Lennart and Laila focus on the new baby, in part to avoid their miserable marriage and failed relationship with Jerry. Their parenting style made me shudder.
Circumstances prevent Lennart and Laila from continuing to foster Theres, and Jerry takes her into his custody. She is an unusually quiet and disturbed child, with an extraordinary musical talent. Her voice is unlike anything Jerry has heard, and he's determined to make some money off her talent.
Theresa grows up in a traditional family home, a train ride away from Theres. She is uncomfortable in her own skin, unable to make friends or make sense of the world. Her family is concerned for her depressed state. But when Theresa sees Theres on a national singing competition, she feels a kinship she can't explain. When the two girls meet, the chemistry is apparent. Their friendship strikes a dangerous level and their combined effort at achieving success is petrifying.
This review is somewhat vague, as there are so many plot twists, I don't want any spoilers.
I first came across Swedish author Lindqvist's "Let the Right One In", a modern twist on the traditional vampire plot. That novel has been turned into horror films in both Sweden and the U.S. His newest release, "Little Star", cements his ability to disturb and terrify. This particular story has been compared to Stephen King's "Carrie", but I think his horror strikes a much more ominous note.