Friday, March 31, 2023


A Novel by
Olaf Olafsson
Published by Ecco, 2022

Leaving New Mexico behind, my literary pursuits took me back to Iceland (and then to Japan) in this elegant, bittersweet book. This is also a Covid novel, a genre that I’ve explored my own writing. Touch is a story of love found and lost and found again. Kristófer, a widower, is a successful chef in Reykjavík who has decided to retire after the onset of Covid-19 pandemic destroys his business. At the same time a long-lost lover, Miko, (who had abruptly left him years ago) had gotten in touch with him and seemed interested in reconciling. Kristófer undertakes a trip to Japan to see her just as Covid restrictions are starting to be enforced. On the way he relives his memories of the time they spent together as he tries to come to grips with the meaning of his life and of his personal sense of failure. He had met Miko in London in the late 1960s, where she worked in her father’s restaurant. He began working there in order to see more of her and incidentally found a vocation. A set of circumstances beyond his understanding caused their separation—he had lived more than fifty years not knowing why.

The story is told with a light and tender touch. Olaf’s prose suits the narrative; other work by this author is equally refined and shares a common theme of thwarted desire.


By Professor Batty


Blogger Mary said...

I loved this book! Tried to get my book club to read it, but it wasn't voted in.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

A polar opposite (pun intended) of the Preston & Child books!

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