Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Animal Life

Award winning Scandinavian author, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, writes a breathtakingly beautiful little novel that reflects on midwifery, family, nature, and finding the light. Dómhildur is a midwife, continuing a long family tradition of helping bring life into the world. Her great-aunt was so proud of her that she bequeathed Dómhildurher her apartment in Reykjavík after her death. As Christmas approaches, so too does the winter forecast worsen. While Dómhildurher rummages through her aunt’s things looking for Christmas décor and she stumbles across a box full of manuscripts, editorials, postcards, and letters. Within the pages is mix of musings on animal life, midwifery practices over the past century, and the reflections of her great-aunt. Ann Richardson narrates with a slow steady cadence, that eases readers into the poetic Icelandic prose. While not “plot heavy,” the impending Christmas storm serves as a dark backdrop for the light found within the pages. For fans of Scandinavian literature. – Erin Cataldi

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