Monday, May 7, 2012

Stilts Review

Krysi Egan's review of The Promise of Iceland has appeared in Stilts. The review, which is available in full here, includes:

With elegance and tenderness, Kari discusses the loves that have defined his life; the love for his intriguing and adventurous mother, the secret and silent love for his father, and the love and longing for Iceland. While painting a spectacularly vivid portrait of the natural beauties of Iceland and its people, Kari explores the complicated nature of how people fall in love, the promises they make, and the reality of what happens when those promises fall apart.

All of those things make this a fabulous memoir, but what makes it unforgettable is the tremendous respect and grace in which Kari tells a story that is only in part his to tell. His sensitive portrayal of his mother as he shares the most intimate and defining moments of his family history is truly a wonder. Whilst a measure of bitterness towards his father would be justifiable and easily forgiven, Kari leaves it off the page, instead focusing on the delicate nature of the circumstances and the ultimate search for belonging.

Wise and unassuming, humorous and remarkably affecting all at the same time, The Promise of Iceland is an enchanting reflection of a fascinating life and a profound exploration of the human condition.

My mother, Susan Reid, on The Esja (1971)