Saturday 23 September 2023

Book Review: Your Absence is Darkness by Jón Kalman Stefánsson (Literary Fiction)

Title: Your Absence is Darkness
Author: Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Publisher: Biblioasis
Publication Date: 5 March 2024
Pages: 456
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

A spellbinding saga about the inhabitants and inheritors of one rural community, by one of Iceland's most beloved novelists.  A man comes to awareness in a church in rural Iceland, not knowing why he’s there or how he arrived. When a local woman offers to reunite him with her sister, he realizes he’s lost not only his bearings, but his memory as he doesn’t recall either sister, nor their mother, the woman buried beneath the stone. As their stories unfold, he’s plunged into a history spanning centuries and a city girl drawn to the fjords by the memory of a blue-eyed gaze; a pastor who writes to dead poets and falls in love with a stranger from afar; a woman who must abandon her son to save her family; a musician plagued by cosmic loneliness; and an alcoholic transfixed by the night sky. Faced with the violence of destiny and the effects of choices, made and avoided, that cascade between lives, each discovers the cost of happiness and must answer the difficult question of how to love and be loved. 

An incandescent romance about the misfortune of mortality and the strange salve of time, Your Absence is Darkness is a spellbinding story of death, desire, and the perfect agony of star-crossed love.


Your Absence is Darkness was an intriguing and winding tale of intermingled lives and stories, each narrative weaving into the next to form the full picture of events. It was an absolutely beautifully crafted piece of writing with exceptional pacing and a delightful mix of moving moments and quirky events. However, while I could admire it objectively, I did find it hard to connect with the book on a more emotional level. But, I would note that when I read it this week I was feeling particularly fatigued, and it did require a bit of concentration, so it could well be that I would have found it more emotionally impactful had I read it at a time when I had more energy. In any event, I still enjoyed it and would happily pick up more works by this author in the future. I am giving it 4.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment