Anja Snellman
Publication date
September 2018
Format info
354 pages

The Village of Dreams

Kaikkien toiveiden kylä

Household name Anja Snellman returns with an atmospheric novel about unexpected friendship and the enduring strength of women.

Agave lives in solitude, in a remote village highly up in the mountains of Crete. With her donkey, hens, cats and dogs, the 93-year-old woman keeps to herself, until the day she happens upon an injured foreign woman on one of the goat trails on the hillside. Inviting Monika into her home to recuperate, Agave and the young woman’s friendship grows over the summer, revealing their own dissecting stories and tales of Europe, the decades of excess, of luxury and ruin and acts of love and cruelty.

Bestselling author Anja Snellman (b. 1954) returns with an assured and evocative novel of women’s fiction, reminiscent of Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone and a must-read for those who loved The Island by Victoria Hislop.


Finnish PDF
English sample translation 70pp
Author letter


“A Greek cornucopia… The author makes use of embedded speech and the immediacy of the present tense to pull the reader in. A wealth of dreams, memories and flashbacks create a multi-layered story. Snellman’s prose is precise and very sensuous, she is a master in describing colours and flavours are excellent.” Savon Sanomat newspaper

The Village of Dreams is a survival story of two women. It is a story of sadness and of the ‘healing light’, of loss, and of the desire to live. Above and beyond, it is a novel about Crete and an ode to Crete.” Aamulehti newspaper

“The story of Agave, a 93-year-old woman who lives in solitude, and Monika, the young woman she nurses back to health, is like a hot summer vacation on the history-filled island of Crete. This upmarket fiction novel is a heart-filling story of passing time and of timelessness, of a hectic life versus the quiet peace of daily routines.”Anna magazine

The Village of Dreams is set in Crete, and it is both multi-layered and entertaining… It is a story of two women, a story about two people with a generation gap demonstrating that even very different human beings will end up having similar experiences: family history, inter-generational roles, emotions, and stories.” Apu magazine

“I was entertained and wanted to know what happens at the end, which makes this an excellent book.” ET magazine

“Snellman is a ‘poet and painter of the landscape’. Her language is gorgeous, simultaneously light yet heavy. Short sentences can carry a lot, sometimes even the whole world. Abundant details make the reader imagine a landscape in which she wants to step in… Reading it makes you feel warm inside, filling you with rays of sun that radiate for a long time after finishing the book.” Hemulin kirjablogi blog