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Book Club Selection for March

On March 7th, 2024, the Icelandic Roots Book Club will welcome Elin de Ruyter who will talk to us about her book Mother of Light: A Novel, published in July 2023.

Spanning a dark period in Iceland’s history known as the “Dire Years’, Mother of Light explores the cornerstones of the human experience - birth, death, love and belonging during a time when man lived by the seasons, not the clock, and when survival sometimes meant forsaking the heart.

Elin takes us to 1881 where we meet Sólveig Pétursdóttir, a newly trained midwife, and follow her to a remote Westfjörds community. She is determined to do better for women and by extension, better herself, although her intentions turn out to be far more difficult to achieve than she imagined.

“I’d like to think of my story as an ode to Icelandic midwives and to my ancestors in the Westfjords, who lived in Súgandafjörður…”

—Elin de Ruyter


Elin de Ruyter, Author of Mother of Light
Elin de Ruyter, Author of Mother of Light

Elin’s novel is inspired by real people and actual events. She captures the spirit of Icelanders and the courage of women who agreed to serve their communities as midwives. Life was a constant battle, but the love, hope, and community spirit carried by Icelanders made survival possible.


“… I feel better equipped to face the challenges in my own life, knowing the stories of my ancestors and the harsh truth that they often faced worse and somehow got through it.”

—Elin de Ruyter


Read more about Elin and her book in the July 9th, 2023 edition of Roots News. And join us on March 07, 2024, to hear Elin talk about how she came to write such a beautiful, and heartbreaking book.


The meeting time is:

5:00 PM Pacific

6:00 PM Mountain

7:00 PM Central

8:00 PM Eastern

12:00 AM in Iceland (March 8th, 2024)


The link will be provided to members via email of the Samkoma News the day before the Book Club meets.


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

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