A friend who had visited Iceland lent me this book just prior to setting off on a cruise that would take in three Icelandic ports. I found it absolutely fascinating and it gave me a good insight into present-day Iceland, providing historical insight, cultural information and practical details.
What I really appreciated about this book was that it is an affectionate portrait of a country while remaining objectively critical. Clearly Sarah Moss enjoyed her year in Iceland, despite the harsh climate - and how right she was about that! When we visited in August it was COLD, and wet and windy, from which I conclude that life there must hold some charm for her as she clearly would have liked to stay on had circumstances been different.
As regards her awareness of feeling "A stranger in Iceland" she was simply reflecting what it feels like to be an ex-pat living and working in a foreign country, an experience new to her. I know that feeling, especially when the language is an unfamiliar one, and it is tough and disorientating.
This is a real travel book - it tells you in depth about the country and its people from having lived and worked there, not just having passed through as a visitor.
I applaud Sarah Moss for managing to write this book while doing a full-time job and bringing up two young children - however did she find the time?
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