Summer at Little Lava: A season at the edge of the world by Charles Fergus
Originally published in June 2005, on my original 52 Books blog.
Fergus’ original plan had been to write a simple nature study, but when he found his mother murdered in her home, the plans changed. Instead of becoming just a place to stay for the summer, somewhere to live and take notes for the book he was going to write, Litla Hraun became a refuge from the world, a place where he could heal in peace and work to distance himself from the shock and his anger over his mother’s death.
The book is not what I would really call a travel book, and neither is it one of the “good life” books. The “simple life” would be nearer the mark, but even that doesn’t quote describe it. It a combination of nature observations and the story of a psychological healing process, interspersed with observations on Icelanders, their language, literature and folklore. It has some of the best descriptions of Icelandic nature and weather that I have read by a foreigner.
Rating: Recommended reading for anyone who wants to see a side of Iceland foreign visitors don’t often see. 4 stars.
Note: I recently discovered that the author's wife also wrote a book about their stay at Little Lava, which I am planning to read.