The Promise of Iceland is 'pick of the week' in Fiona Capp's review section in Saturday's The Age. Fiona describes the work in this way:
Few countries are further apart than Iceland and Australia. Central to Kari Gislason's story is the secret of his paternity. His married Icelandic father insisted his British-Australian mother (with whom he had a seven-year affair) keep Gislason and the relationship a secret. Gislason spent his early years in Iceland before his mother went back to Australia. The Promise of Iceland is not only about Gislason's return to Iceland to meet his father but also about the search for, and meaning of, home. It dawns on Gislason that his father is inseparable from the stark landscape of Iceland. "The interior was only ever a feared and dangerous place - something like my father, I thought, and the mysteries of his interior life." However, it is Gislason's portrait of his mother, Susan - her restlessness, her shyness, her dreams of elsewhere and her life in Iceland - that forms the spine of the memorable, finely crafted book.
(from the "Life and Style" lift-out in The Saturday Age, 27/8/11, p. 30)