Author: Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Publication Date: 1 March 2022
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley
A portrait of an artist trapped by convention and expectations but longing for the chaos that can set her free.
Growing up on a farm in early twentieth-century rural Iceland, Karitas Jónsdóttir, one of six siblings, yearns for a new life. An artist, Karitas has a powerful calling and is determined to never let go of her true being, one unsuited for the conventional. But she is powerless against the fateful turns of real life and all its expectations of women. Pulled back time and again by design and by chance to the Icelandic countryside—as dutiful daughter, loving mother, and fisherman’s wife—she struggles to thrive, to be what she was meant to be.
Spanning decades and set against a breathtaking historical canvas, Karitas Untitled, an award-winning classic of Icelandic literature, is a complex and immersive portrait of an artist’s conflict with love, family, nature, and a country unaccustomed to an untraditional woman—but most of all, with herself and the creative instincts she has no choice but to follow.
Karitas Untitled started well. I liked the premise, and Karitas was an interesting character. The family drama was compelling, the descriptions of life in rural Iceland vivid. However, the final third of the book fell a bit flat for me. I began to lose interest in Karitas' life and struggles and found myself waiting for the end during the final 100 pages. If you are looking for family drama and a book with great depictions of rural life (such as salting herring), Karitas Untitled is worth a read, but personally, it didn't quite live up to my expectations and its early promise. I believe there is a second volume in this series, of which I assume an English translation will be released in due course, but I don't see myself rushing out to buy it. This was, overall all, a middle-of the-road read for me, and I will give it 3 stars. While I was fully immersed all the way through, the descriptive writing was beautiful.
I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.