My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'I just want to be home', I replied.
'You are home, dear Kári.'
A heartfelt memoir of keeping a secret and breaking a promise, Gíslason laid out snippets of his life in the dramatic landscapes of Iceland, bringing us to the land of the Sagas, to the sky of the Northern Lights, and to the ashes of Eyjafjallajökull. He also brought stories of the hot summer, the long beaches and the cheap wine of the Australian continent.
What I love about this book is how he wrote his big love with the land at the edge of the world. He made me piqued my interest in the paradoxes of the Icelandic culture - like you are being owned but you are on your own, or how the people are reserved and intrusive, and how much they frown while giving you a warm welcome. As a writer and a PhD in Medieval literature, he convinced me to read the dramatic family sagas of the Iceland, naming Egíl's and Njál's as his top favorites.
The unhurried prose made me imagine how his parents fell in love. And this book does not even try to patronize secret lovers or dangerous liaisons, but it is to see the struggles of the result - a lovechild outside of the wedlock. We are given a point of view of Kari's - for us not to be bitchy about adultery, because prejudice does not help in welcoming a child into the world. By acknowledging one's existence also mean's welcoming in one's home.
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