Thursday, 13 December 2018

Book review : And The Wind Sees All - Gudmundur Andri Thorsson

And The Wind Sees All by Gudmundur Andri Thorsson is part of the Home in Exile series by Pereine and introduces us to the various inhabitants of a small Icelandic fishing village. The blurb on the back of the book informs us that the entire novel takes place in two minutes, as a young woman in a polka dot dress cycles down the main street.

The woman's name is Kata and she is the conductor of the village choir. As she cycles past each of the inhabitants, waving at them or being glimpsed through a window, each character takes centre stage for their chapter. There are lots of very interesting and intriguing characters : a priest with a gambling habit, an old brother and sister who haven't talked for years, a sea captain who has lost his son ... Some of the characters' stories intertwine, revealing connections between them and hinting at a greater sense of community, while others prefer to keep to themselves.

I will admit, it took me a few chapters to get into, because I'm always in a rush, going from mum duties at home to work, then back home at the end of the day and picking up mum duties again, with dinner, homework and all the rest of the things that we all have to deal with every day, so each chapter seemed a bit too short and separate. Grabbing just a few minutes to read a chapter and discover a new character soon turned into a pleasant moment of me-time though, during my lunch break, on the bus on the way to work or just in a (very rare !) quiet moment at some random point in the day. It reminded me of people watching, then idly wondering about the past, present and future of the person you've witnessed. The novel fills in all the background, showing the private selves that the general public never usually see.

It's a simple, enjoyable read that meanders through the village, looking at the secret lives of each of its inhabitants.

star rating : 4/5

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Peirene Press Ltd (30 Sept. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908670460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908670465

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.


  1. Sounds good. I never have much chance to read but would like to more

  2. That's a new author to me. Sounds intriguing. I recognise the publisher from your reviews, looks like they specialise in European fiction. I should try one of their books.

    1. Yes, Pereine do translated versions of foreign fiction, working on themed collections. It's an interesting concept :)


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