Review of Out of Iceland by Ann Cassin

Review of Out of Iceland by Ann Cassin

Review of Out of Iceland by Ann Cassin

Out Of Iceland by Ann Cassin is an exciting weekend read, and an education in, not only Science, but of Iceland, as well, and in sufficient detail to present a clear proof of presence to the reader.

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Paperback: 214 pages

Publisher: Cyberwit.net (May 10, 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 818253545X
ISBN-13: 978-8182535459

Out Of Iceland by Ann Cassin is an exciting weekend read, and an education in, not only Science, but of Iceland, as well, and in sufficient detail to present a clear proof of presence to the reader.

Ms. Cassin knows her science and she has designed the book in an exciting, modern, chronological pattern; short but packed paragraphs and clearly demarcated changes in venue.

Ann Pinson Cassin worked as an anthropologist and English teacher in Iceland for five years. She also was a science writer for The American Museum of Natural History, Science Service, and Scholastic Magazines. A short story, “Hibernal Onding” appeared in The Taj Mahal Review, December 2008. A short story, “Mavis Lamb Needs Geologist for Oregon Gold Mine,” was in the June through September 2011 monthly online journal issues of Long Story Short. She has a doctorate in anthropology from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.

We are introduced to an archeological find – a body belonging to a Middle Age’s human, nearly fully preserved in the freeze of Iceland’s climate, and nearly 500 years old.

We meet our heroine Anthropologist Dana Eakin, described by Cassin as “a natural blonde; she was crowned with angelic fluff—her hair fell to her shoulders.” We learn she must return to Iceland, after a letter from her father comes, urging her there, He has since gone missing

Cassin brings us into the world of infectious disease, and the notoriously diverse world of characters a much bulkier novel usually presents. Her people are, at once real, and like flesh and blood counterparts, bear witness to Cassin’s talent.

“Her arms and delicate legs, both limbs longer than her short torso, gave her both an enormous reach and great strides of equine grace.” These assets will keep Dana out of the hands of what turns out to be a plot of enormous international scale and potential harm.

Thus, Dana enters the contemporary world of Icelandic culture, and we too, along for the read.

This is a woman in search of her father and colleague, and her unrelenting search of all who had any shred of evidence of his whereabouts, gets her into the lives of local Icelanders, some creative, many simply rough-hewn sailors, or farmers, all sagacious and aware of their Viking ancestry.

We are suddenly introduced to a startling reality that Cassin weaves like Ian Fleming’s James Bond, into a harrowing finale that adds vigor and surprise to a very finely crafted volume of clever fiction.

Personally, I look forward to another Dana Eakin story. She is now a favorite heroine of mine, joining such as Helen MacGregor in Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy.

I have already recommended Out of Iceland to many of my friends, and do so now, to you.

 

Reviewed by Mary Barnet
Copyright 2017, Mary Barnet.
All Rights Reserved.
The New American : Selected Poems (Cyberwit, 2006) ;
Arrival (Casa de Snapdragon) ;
86 Sonnets for the 21st Century (Casa de Snapdragon, 2015) ;
Editor-in-Chief for 21 years of PoetryMagazine.com