books > Ice
448pp Original paperback
A Nordic bestseller, set in a Lutheran island community in the 1940s
Winner of the Finlandia Prize
Nominated for the Nordic Critics Prize
It is the summer of 1947. A novice Lutheran priest, his wife and baby daughter arrive at a windswept island off the coast of Finland, where they are welcomed by its frugal, self-sufficient community of fisher folk turned reluctant farmers. In this deeply atmospheric and quietly epic tale, Lundberg uses a wealth of everyday detail to draw us irresistibly into a life and mindset far removed from our own – stoic and devout yet touched with humour and a propensity for song. With each season, the young family’s love of the island and its disparate and scattered inhabitants deepens, and when the winter brings ice, new and precarious links appear. Told in spare, simple prose that mirrors the islanders’ unadorned style, this is a story as immersive as it is heartrending.
Ulla-Lena Lundberg is an acclaimed and prize-winning Finland-Swedish novelist and ethnologist. She has published more than twenty works of fiction and non-fiction. Born in Kökar in the Åland Islands, an upbringing that she draws upon in Ice, Lundberg has lived and worked in the USA, England, and also Japan, Africa and Siberia.