Solveig Eggerz was born in Iceland. “My ancestors wrote when they had time,” she says. “The older they got, the more they wrote. My great-great grandfather, Friðrik Eggerz, a farmer and a protestant minister, wrote his autobiography when he was in his eighties, a book that documented 19th century Icelandic regional history; my grandfather, Sigurður Eggerz, twice prime minister of Iceland, wrote plays and essays. My father, Pétur Eggerz, a foreign service officer, wrote fiction and non-fiction until the day he died at age 80.” Solveig has worked as a journalist and professor of writing and research. She has lived in Germany and now resides in Alexandria, Virginia. As my Great Reads feature returns, I’m so happy to be able to share with you her book, Seal Woman – this week’s Great Read!
In the rubble of post-World War II Berlin, artist Charlotte flees her past and everything she’s lost by responding to an ad calling for strong women who can cook and do farm work in Iceland. But painful memories and ghosts follow Charlotte as she struggles to make a new life in a raw and rugged landscape. This debut novel celebrates the twin powers of storytelling and art as ways to reassemble the fragments of Charlotte’s broken self and move her-and everyone she loves-toward peace. This novel won first prize for fiction from the Maryland Writers’ Association.
What do readers say?
“Solveig Eggerz brings to life post-war rural Iceland and wartime Berlin in this character study that weaves the reality of Charlotte’s difficult and tragic life with the Icelandic myths and magic of her adopted country. A book that recalls the genius of Isabel Allende, the author tells the story of a German woman fleeing her country and her past to build a new life in Iceland. With vivid descriptions of the beautiful yet bleak Icelandic environment, readers learn of Charlotte’s strength even as she battles the memories of her past. This page-turner will appeal to anyone who enjoyed reading the Icelandic sagas, Isabel Allende, or about World War II and Iceland. ” – P.B.