Ett otänkbart öde

Ett otänkbart öde An Unthinkable Fate

Wadenstierna #4

In the spring of 1884 the young society woman Alexandra Rosenkvist is living in the north of Sweden, exiled having caused a scandal that shocked the high society. Now she’s finally allowed to return to Stockholm, where modern inventions such as the telephone and electricity are seeing the day of light, and where intelligence and money are beginning to be considered more important than fine ancestry. The women’s fight is in its early stages and within Alexandra a longing is growing for independence and the prospect of devoting herself to her passion: art.

The one coming to collect Alexandra is Atle Falk, a man with a dark past. Together with Atle, her cheery maid Minna and the pious handmaiden Emmy, Alexandra will traverse through a Sweden that is rapidly changing. On the surface the young dreamy socialite Alexandra and the scarred and cynical Atle have nothing in common, but during the course of their journey they grow closer to one another and unthinkable feelings blossom. Alexandra’s dreams of an independent and free life begin to flourish. But at home in Stockholm her rich and conservative family await. And they have very different plans for her.



Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards (Best Feelgood Fiction) Sweden 2024
Shortlisted for the Feelgood of the Year Award Sweden 2023
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  • An Unthinkable Fate is full of warmth, humour and love, but also sorrow and hardship. The novel has a clear social commitment, where first and foremost the strive for equality stands in focus but also the class conflict and a wish for a more just world. It’s well-written, romantic and highly engaging.”

    BTJ, Sweden

  • “With this novel you get a well-written, historical love story. Simona Ahrnstedt writes well, and her gallery of characters is varied and exciting. /…/ I had a hard time putting the book down, I just had to read how it ended and see if there was a happy ending in one or another way.”

    ★★★★★, Denmark

  • An Unthinkable Fate is pleasure reading at its best: Entertaining, well-written and with just enough predictability.”


    Familie Journalen, Denmark

  • “Butterflies-inducing! But also a captivating depiction of Alexandra’s struggle to get to pursue her dreams and of the terms under which women lived at the time. It’s not for nothing that Ahrnstedt is Sweden’s queen of romance.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “The women’s cause and its champions are at the heart of this warm historical romance. /…/ It holds both entertainment and lovely imagery from the period of transition at the end of the 1800s.”

    Danish Library Report, Denmark

  • “If you have got a soft spot for romantic stories about adversity, desire and vast emotions, Simona Ahrnstedt’s latest novel is perfect to delve into. /…/ Simona Ahrnstedt writes immersively. /…/ The chemistry between Alexandra and Atle are equal parts timid and explosive – and along the way there’s plenty of drama.”


    Søndag, Denmark

  • “Entertaining. /…/ A genuinely delightful read infused with gravity and fighting spirit.”

    M-magasin, Sweden

  • “How about some heat and passion for the warm summer days? The Swedish queen of the romance-genre Simona Ahrnstedt returns. /…/ Here there’s love, betrayals and forbidden relationships. And in addition it’s genuinely thrilling.”

    Bohusläningen, Sweden

  • “I read [An Unthinkable Fate] in one go and there were so many unexpected twists and turns!”

    P4 Radio, Sweden

  • “It’s breathlessly suspenseful towards the end, when everything appears to be slipping through our heroine’s hands. It doesn’t matter whatsoever that the genre dictates how it will end, because the important thing here is to see just how skillfully the author manages to ultimately make all pieces fit into place. /…/ Way to go Simona Ahrnstedt! /…/ Simona Ahrnstedt uses her romantic intrigue to also outline the origins of the women’s rights movement,  the importance of equality laws and the right to vote as well as live a self-determined life.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “The uncrowned queen of historical romance returns.”

    Svensk Damtidning, Sweden

  • “Simona Ahrnstedt returns with an epic love story in a dramatic historical period of transitions. ”

    Premium Magazine, Sweden

  • “Here [Simona] truly comes into her own. She depicts the delightful 19th century milieus and constructs a wonderful love story to be swept away by. Here, there’s both titillating romance and a charged intrigue. /…/ A piece of women’s history is woven in to the narrative and serves to elevate the story. This is spellbinding. It is delightful. I simply want to read the novel again and again.”

    Boktokig, Sweden

Photo: Kate Gabor Simona Ahrnstedt
  • Fiction
  • Historical
  • Women’s fiction
Reading material

Swedish edition

English sample translation

Rights sold

Denmark, Gutkind

Finland, WSOY

France, Leduc

Iceland, Ugla

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Sweden, Forum

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