Publishers' catalogues usually provide something to look forward to, and today it's Sort Of Books' list for next spring which has had me adding to my wish list in the shape of Ice by Ulla-Lena Lundberg, "the epic of island life that has gripped Finland", which will be out in February.
"In the summer of 1947, a young priest, his wife and baby daughter arrive by mail boat at a tiny church island. They are to take over its draughty homestead from where Petter is to minister to the scattered and subtly divided community. In this deeply evocative tale, Ulla-Lena Lundberg draws us into the minutiae of an austere yet purposeful life where the demands of self-sufficiency - cows to milk and sheep to graze - are tempered by the kindness of neighbours. With each season, the family's love of the island grows, and when the winter brings ice a new and tentative link is created. Told through the eyes of Petter, the wholehearted if naive novice priest, and Mona, his tough-minded wife, a story unfolds that is as immersive as it is heartrending.
Winner of the Finlandia prize and nominated for the Nordic Critics Prize, Ice was a huge bestseller in Finland."
While we're waiting for that to be released, you might care to read Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (there's a post on it here) and Cecilia Ekbäck's all-enveloping Wolf Winter (post here) both of which are in a vaguely similar vein.