I Remember You – Yrsa Sigurdardottir

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There are numerous cover designs for this book. The original cover allegedly scared fans so much that it had to be changed for the UK and American additions!

 

I Remember You is described by the times as being “A chiller-thriller of immense scariness… not to be read alone in the dark” and whilst it certainly sends little shivers down your back, the repetitive language and noticeable over-use of adverbs may leave you having to re-read paragraphs for fear of losing the point of the plot…

Chapter one begins with a young couple, Gardar and Katrin and their high-maintenance friend, Lif who temporarily move to an abandoned village in Westfjords in Iceland, in an attempt to renovate an old house into a tourist spot. Mysterious shells and crosses appear and you can begin to tally the number of times the house ‘creaks’ followed by someone wanting to get back in their sleeping bag. I struggled to connect with the three and although written in the third person, I just about grasped that the story was from Katrin’s point of view… (I think). From the outset, Sigurdardottir drops in plot foreshadowing that are, perhaps, a little too easy spot: an isolated house, bad weather and particularly, we are told that none of the characters are ‘superstitious’ – well, that is all about to change.

Chapter two introduces the second strand of the storyline from the point of view of Freyr, a psychologist who is brought in to unravel the mystery revolving around some mysterious graffiti that has been scrawled inside a school; things escalate and in enter crazy old people and suggestion of religious cults!
Aside from his investigation, he is battling with the disappearance of his son that never came to a conclusion. As with most novels involving crime and mystery, Freyr must confront the problems in his personal life in order to solve the case at hand and in this case, he is chasing ghosts.

My favourite character was probably Putti, Lif’s dog. This is not a criticism, he really is a great asset to the group, and is always there to warn us when an angered spirit is nearby!

Despite its flaws, this novel is laden with cliffhangers and suspense. Sigurdardottir cleverly intertwines the two storylines together and makes your brain work to figure out the twist before you get there. I read the English translated version of the novel, which may have caused it to read odd at times. Nevertheless, this novel really is quite spooky and I would certainly recommend for those looking for a ghost story to read the night away!

Favourite quote: “But you should know one thing. It is better to lose your husband because he died than because he left you for another woman.” – Lif.

Important Information 

  • Published in 2012
  • Genre? – Horror-mystery-thriller!
  • Publisher – Hodder & Stoughton
  • Check out – Við viljum jólin í júlí (We Want Christmas in July) – This was awarded by International Board on Books for Young People!
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