Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss
What would it be like to move your family to a remote island, where you don't speak the language, can't buy fruit or vegetables and have to push a buggy over a lava field in darkness to get to nursery?
Sarah Moss (author of Night Waking, one of our 2012 Mumsnet Bookclub favourites), had backpacked around Iceland when she was nineteen – in 2009, she returned with two children, her husband and a job at the University. Her arrival coincided with the economic collapse, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and the onset of Arctic winter, where even the sea is silent and instead of waves there are 'grey slabs, piled up against each other like fallen gravestones'.
As the weeks turn into months, Moss and her family explore boiling mud geysers and remote farms, struggle to learn ancient customs and modern Reykjavik driving skills, and find many new friends, including a woman who can speak to elves and a chef who can at last provide something other than herring or blood sausage.
Fascinating in its observational detail and comparisons between cultures, this is an extremely intelligent, honest and witty account of one English family's adventures in the Arctic Circle. Even if you're reading it on a sun-lounger somewhere exotic, it will stir longings for knitted jumpers and crisp, frosty mornings.
About the author
Sarah Moss was educated at Oxford University and teaches on the undergraduate Creative Writing Programme and the MA in Writing at the University of Warwick.
She is the author of two novels, Cold Earth and Night Waking, and co-author of Chocolate: A Global History. She spent 2009-10 as a visiting lecturer at the University of Iceland and now lives in West Cornwall.
Sarah's website has an excellent page about Names for The Sea, plus her recent blog posts and information on all her other books.
This giveaway has now closed, if you weren't lucky enough to receive a free copy, you can buy Names For The Sea.
- Books homepage
- Follow @Mumsnetbookclub on Twitter
- Discuss your latest read
- Sign up to Book club newsletter