An unexpected gem!
I asked to review this solely based on the fact that it is set in Iceland in the 1600s and I’ve never read a book with that setting! I was captivated from the first chapter, when we meet Rosa, a young woman in an Icelandic village who has agreed to marry Jon, a chieftain from a distant village, in order to provide for her ailing mother.
When Rosa reaches Jon’s home, she realizes she had no idea what she was getting herself into. While he isn’t cruel, he’s distant and short with her, keeps her isolated from neighbors, and refuses to tell her what is making noises in the locked room upstairs. Rosa’s loneliness and desperation grows until she becomes determined to uncover her husband’s secrets…even at the risk of her own life.
I truly loved this book. The writing is haunting and evocative, immersing me thoroughly in this distant time and place. The story doesn’t move quickly, but I found myself hurrying to turn (digital) pages because I *needed* to know what happened. And after I finished, it stayed with me for days. I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for a compelling historical fiction novel with a gothic feel and an immersive setting. Beautifully written!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Books for the digital copy in exchange for a review. This is out now!