This novel, on its blog tour currently, has two obvious layers for me. The first, a fascinating but tragic storyline set in the early 1900s involving a young woman doing everything she can to fulfil her duties while also forging a life of her own – a life outside of rural Iceland. But over the years, the latter seems like a fantasy, along with Karitas’ hope of being a “real” artist.
The second, a stylistic piece of writing which showcases why translated fiction is so valuable for literature at large. The language reads, when translated (in this case by Philip Roughton), as a sort of dance between utilitarian, conservative language and epic imagery.
Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir’s style suits the artistic narrative perfectly – the novel reads like a painting which, on the surface, seems like a series of random brush strokes but which gets more meaningful with each stroke until you can’t look away.
May or may not have attempted a “BookTok” for this one…
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