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The Best Intentions

A Novel

Based on the courtship and marriage of Ingmar Bergman's own parents, The Best Intentions describes the complex, tumultuous love of a man and woman and the miracle of what love is: overriding and, so often, inexplicable. Henrik is a struggling, somber divinity student; Anna the impetuous but slightly pampered daughter of a bourgeois family. Anna's mother, Karin, fiercely opposes their marriage and uses everything in her power--including deceit--first to prevent it, then to break it up. Yet even her basest actions are not ill-meaning but filled with good intentions. In fact, all the characters act with the best intentions, however wrongheaded their behavior. Incorporating some of the elements of stage and screen, including cinematic dialogues and personal asides, Bergman has written a novel of great beauty and uncompromising honesty, a work filled with joy and sadness, sacrifice and reconciliation--and above all, abiding love. This stunning novel was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the film adaptation, directed by Bille August, won the Palm D'OR at the Cannes Film Festival.

Ingmar Bergman is recognized as a giant of the cinema and stage, and was an influential director, writer, and producer. He is known for such classic films as The Seventh SealWild StrawberriesPersonaCries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander. The Best Intentions is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sunday's Children and Private Confessions, also published by Arcade. He died in 2007 in Sweden.

Praise for The Best Intentions

"Lush and devastating at once."—New York Times Book Review

"The closest thing imaginable to a Bergman film without pictures or sound."—New York Times

"A saga of great warmth and emotional rage . . . full of deep anguish, great passion, and stunning honesty."—Toledo Blade

"[Bergman] has brought real flesh and blood human beings to life on the page, just as he does on screen."--Prodigy

Praise for Ingmar Bergman's Sunday's Children
New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year


"Elegant, honest, and emotionally brutal. . . . A perfectly shaped treasure that stands among the finest work of Mr. Bergman's career."—New York Times

"Because every line is saturated with juice, with the sense of life, you feel, in addition to life as it is, life as it ought to be."—New York Times Book Review

"In words, as in cinematic images, Bergman shapes settings and characters that immediately come alive and subtly express the depths of human emotions and experience."—Houston  Chronicle

"A Nobel for Ingmar? He deserves one many times over."—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Ingmar Bergman's Private Confessions

"As psychologically intricate and harshly personal as his movies."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Confessions is a searing drama of adultery, secrets, lies, and lifelong guilt."—Chicago Tribune

"A vibrant and moving addition to what begins to look more and more like a great work in progress."—Kirkus Reviews

"A dark gem of a novel, set in resonant prose as elegant as a classical sonata."—Publishers Weekly.

 

More books from this author: Ingmar Bergman