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The Good Lover

The Good Lover
Steinunn Sigurðardóttir
World Editions
English translations
Review Author
Björn Halldórsson

(Góði elskhuginn, 2009)

Karl Ástuson has always gotten on well with women. Still, his love life, though active, cannot truly be called passionate. He is always on guard, unmarried and without girlfriends, not willing to take the risk of heartache or rejection. Desperate to feel something again, he has returned to Iceland after many years abroad, hoping to make a final plea to the one that got away.

His naïve and desperate hope is to reignite the passion he once shared with a woman whom he dated for seven brief months as a young man but has not spoken to in the seventeen years that have passed since then. However, his plan is thrown in turmoil when he discover that he has been sensationalized: transformed into the persona of an anonymous “good lover” in a recent novel by another old flame.

Confronted with this fictional depiction of himself, he finds himself re-examining his life through the kaleidoscope of the women he has known – his mother, his lovers, his colleagues and his friends – all of whom have all left their mark on him in one way or another.