Thursday, July 30, 2009
The Journey Home
This novel by Icelandic writer and businessman, Olaf Olafsson, tells the story of Disa Jonsdottir, an Icelandic native currently working as a cook in a small country inn in England. Disa lives a bland life with a gay companion and patron, Anthony. The intense emotion of her youth was dampened, if not eradicated , when the love of her life was taken from her by the horrific events of WW2. She finds some solace in the sensual world of food.She has resisted returning to her homeland but a medical diagnosis convinces her that it is now or never. The journey elicits memories, some of them uncomfortable, that alternate with the present. We are exposed gradually to the tragic history that has made her what she is. We are also given an insight into familial mental illness and the effects of abandonment on character. It's a lyrical novel with rich imagery. I recommend it.
I also recommend Olafsson's novel Absolution.