Monday, February 28, 2022

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Karitas Untitled, by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir {ends 3/7}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

The white jug of lukewarm milk was there every morning, framed by the window with the elf city as a backdrop, but Karitas never managed to wake up early enough to thank Kára for her trouble. She didn’t stir in the slightest when Kára came in; that woman must do the milking in the dead of night. It struck Karitas that, without Kára, she would probably wither away, as she got the milk and the water, which often lasted for several days when there were no large washings to be done. Karitas had just finished mixing the dark brown color to paint the buckets, deciding to make them darker than they really were in order to create greater contrast, when she realized that it would be most convenient to put the clotheslines down where the buckets had come to rest. A large washing was needed, and as a woman, she could hardly ask Kára to do it for her, even though she had washed Sigmar’s clothes when he was single. She would be considered a show-off or a wretch, if not both. It might have been different had she been a lady in a distinguished home, or the astute wife of a parish administrator in Skagafjörður who had her maids scrub away on washboards. But Karitas was neither, and it was time to wash the duvet covers.

Karitas knows she doesn’t usually fit in, but she can only be her true self. Pretending to fit someone else’s mold has never been the way she could survive.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Karitas Untitled, by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir {ends 3/8}
Growing up on a farm in early twentieth-century rural Iceland, Karitas Jónsdóttir, one of six siblings, yearns for a new life. An artist, Karitas has a powerful calling and is determined to never let go of her true being, one unsuited for the conventional. But she is powerless against the fateful turns of real life and all its expectations of women. Pulled back time and again by design and by chance to the Icelandic countryside—as dutiful daughter, loving mother, and fisherman’s wife—she struggles to thrive, to be what she was meant to be.

The story starts with Karitas’ single mother taking Karitas and her five siblings north in Iceland so they will have better educational opportunities. In their new home, Karitas becomes the household manager, of sorts, while her two older sisters get paying jobs, and then leave for school. Karitas does the laundry and takes care of her three brothers during the day. Over time, she grows to think that everyone is getting an education but her, since it just isn’t her turn yet. A chance meeting once she is working as a household servant uncovers her true passion, and eventually, a possible way to realize her potential.

This was a beautiful literary fiction told in Karitas’ voice, that revealed everything about her—perhaps most importantly, how little she sometimes knew about herself. I’d give this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy interesting character stories. The story takes place in the early 1900s in Iceland, so it was definitely an unfamiliar viewpoint that was wonderfully told and greatly enjoyed.

{click here to purchase—currently only $4.99 for Kindle!}

Becki Bayley is a wife and mother who enjoys daily Wordle and Quordle puzzles. Check out more of what she’s reading on Instagram, where she posts as PoshBecki.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Karitas Untitled!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, March 7th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Karitas Untitled, by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir


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