A nice bit of Icelandic ghostliness. A woman moves to a tiny fishing hamlet in a remote part of Iceland to teach two girls, the only children. This is in response to an advert that read: 'Teacher wanted at the end of the world.'
The community, being so small with a population of ten, is very close and strangers are bound to feel like outcasts. Mostly the story is about how the young teacher interacts with them, hears their history and that of the village. A little girl mysteriously died in the house where the teacher lives, sixty years ago, and nobody talks about it. Sometimes a glimpse of her appears, or strange singing...
Told from the perspective of the teacher and interspersed by someone telling a story about a double murder, Jonasson creates a compelling tale. This is a chilling read brought about by the possibility of a ghost and also the gloomy atmosphere of the location. It really does feel as if it is at the end of the world with the constant darkness and lack of connection to the rest of the country. A well-told tale of isolation, belonging and secrets - the perfect psychological mystery in an evocative setting. Spooky, dark and cold. Wonderful.
Published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 10 June 2021.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.