Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

16 November

Please visit our Book Bulletin 2019 crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter 2019 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

On the Cold Coasts
Vilborg Davíðsdóttir (translation: Alda Sigmundsdóttir)
(UK: Amazon Crossing, @AmazonPub, 2012; USA: Amazon Crossing, @AmazonPub, 2012)

When a fleet of 100 English ships is caught in a horrible storm off the cold coasts of 15th-century Iceland, 25 ships are lost. For Ragna, the daughter of a respected family and betrothed to Thorkell, her relationship with one of the seamen washed ashore results in pregnancy. Now barren due to a traumatic childbirth and stigmatised as a fallen woman, she is left with no prospects for marriage when the betrothal is ultimately cancelled.

A decade later, Ragna becomes a housekeeper to the new English bishop in North Iceland, where passionate and ambitious Thorkell is a priest and steward. They embark on a fervent but doomed love affair as priests cannot marry and Ragna will not be a concubine. Little does Ragna know but her host, the bishop, is instigating the conflict between the English and Nordic settlers to his own gain, with a devastating impact on his housekeeper. As sweeping as it is intimate, On the Cold Coasts is a powerful, enduring story of love and personal sacrifice.

UK: My Local Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive (e-audio) | Waterstones
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
Canada: (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | AmazonGoodreads | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon
Australia: (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Heidi Herman, Author | Author website: Heidi Herman

Heidi writes contemporary fiction and Icelandic-inspired books. During her 30 years as a telecommunication consultant, writing was an integral part of every day. Client reports, white papers and technical documentation are essential aspects in communication that she enjoyed those producing immensely. She now focuses purely on writing, but the subject matter is typically fiction.

Heidi enjoys writing about Iceland: her children’s book, folklore collection and cookbook are reflective of this. Her interest in Iceland derives from her mother, Ieda Jónasdóttir Herman, a native of the country. At present, Heidi focuses on novels: including women’s literature, Westerns and some romance.

Given her Icelandic heritage, Heidi chairs a Youth & Culture committee for the Icelandic National League of North America (INLNA). One of INLNA’s initiatives is the Reads! program, in which they connect all the member groups in North America to read a selected book by an Icelandic author. The next Reads! event is taking place at the INLNA’s 100th convention in Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba (16-18 May 2019). On the Cold Coasts is this year’s selection and the organisation is giving away five copies of the book at the convention.