In the summer of 1947, a young priest, Petter, his wife and baby daughter, arrive by mail boat at a tiny island. They are to take over its drafty homestead from where Petter is to minister to the scattered community. In this evocative tale, Ulla-Lena Lundberg draws us into the minutiae of an austere yet purposeful life where the demands of self-sufficiency - cows to milk and sheep to graze - are tempered by the kindness of neighbours. With each season, the family's love of the island grows and when the winter brings ice a new and tentative link is created. Told through the eyes of Petter, the wholehearted if naive novice priest, and Mona, his tough-minded wife, a story unfolds that is as immersive as it is heartrending.
Winner of the Finlandia prize and nominated for the Nordic Critics Prize, Ice was a huge bestseller in Finland.
Translated by: Thomas Teal