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 Seal, Wild Strawberries, Persona, Cries 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.