Title: Magma (original title: Kvika)

Writer: Þóra Hjörleifsdóttir (translated by Meg Matich)

Publishing House: Grove Press

Date of Publication:  July 13th 2021 (first published February 12th 2019)

Rating: 5 stars

‘’An attractive man like me can’t be with a girl who’s slept with so many creeps.’’

A narcissistic parasite. A psychotic pervert. A psychological and physical abuser, son to another one of that stinky gang. Lilja. Her friends. His own mother. Every woman. He thwarts the very existence of a woman who desperately wants to be loved by a worm in human form. A woman who has been brainwashed to submission and obedience.

‘’He’s peeled me like an onion. Surrounded by the leaving of my sallow skin, I’ve dwindled to nothing, and my eyes smart.’’

Manipulative and evil. The sort of man who knows how to exploit a woman’s love for him only to tear her down piece by piece. The steps are familiar. He makes you withdraw from your parents, your friends, your own life until you become utterly dependant, an easy victim. You sacrifice yourself over nothing. An absolute nothing. Why? I cannot understand it but many women can. There are millions of women like Lilja in our world. Books like Magma give voice to their lives and raise awareness that there isn’t just darkness and nothing else beyond it. But you need to find the will to escape. 

Lilja is a brilliant woman. She knows the world, she has travelled, she has learned through experience and communication. And yet, she hands over herself to the sacrifice. All because of a stupid notion of ‘love’ and a monster that someone should have wiped away from the face of the Earth. 

Written in characteristic Icelandic simplicity and poignancy, Magma is extremely raw, honest, brave and emotionally demanding. I never use trigger warnings, I don’t see the point. After all, we’re all adults and people of the world. Hiding from life by pressing the ‘’MUTE’’ button isn’t going to solve the problems we face. But I can tell you that this is a book for brave readers. 

Every woman should read this novel. Now.

Beautifully translated by Meg Matich.

‘’If I were better, then I’d be enough.’’

Many thanks to Grove Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.