If you have ever yearned to go to Iceland, or even better, inside the insightful mind of one of Iceland’s greatest writers, then Land of Love and Ruins by Oddny Eir is just the ticket. Part memoir, part diary, part dream-log, part travel guide, Eir travels Iceland (and England and France) after years abroad in search of a sense of home, a sense of peace and calm. The terrain Eir covered is full of family and national history, meditations on Iceland’s recession and socio-politics, archaeology and ornithology, sex and relationships, farming and food, cohabitation and tourism, writing and productivity.
“I thought about how, if the Almighty and nature allow me to have children, it’s too late to introduce them to Grandma and listen to her recite poems to them. But I shook it off, jumped a bit more and decided to try and learn the poems. Try to communicate her joy to them, if they’re ever born. Grant them a share in all the beautiful memories.”
From Snoop Dog to pre-historic burial grounds, spanning the smallest details to the biggest questions, Land of Love and Ruins is charming and honest. Eir uses a tender prose that bridges the gap intimately between reader and writer. If letting go of a traditional linear narrative, and putting trust into a thoughtful guide with a plethora of profound wisdom, then get in Eir’s car and travel the Land of Love and Ruins.