The Undesired

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, trans. from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. Minotaur, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-10740-4
Two tales of personal and familial anguish, decades apart, drive this chilling standalone from Icelandic author Sigurdardóttir (Someone to Watch over Me). In the present, single father Ódinn Hafsteinsson, who works for the State Supervisory Agency, investigates abuses that may have occurred during the 1970s at the Krókur care home for delinquent boys, located on a former farm in a remote part of Iceland. Those who were mistreated could be entitled to damages. Meanwhile, Ódinn fears that he caused his ex-wife’s death and that he has thus done irreparable psychic damage to his 11-year-old daughter, Rún, who suffers from nightmares involving her late mother. Flash back to 1974. Aldís, a teenage girl who’s estranged from her mother and performs grueling domestic duties at Krókur, becomes infatuated with Einar, a boy at the home with a terrible secret in his past. When Einar and another boy disappear, Aldís pays a terrible price. The two narratives converge on an exciting climax that testifies to Sigurdardóttir’s command of psychological nuance and bitter irony. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2016
Release date: 02/14/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-250-15222-0
Ebook - 978-1-250-10741-1
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