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Northern Brides

A wonderful novel set around Heimat, friendship, family and the alluring power of money.

October 2008: While angry masses demonstrate in Reykjavík about the financial plight of their country, elderly Christa finally decides to come clean to her family about her past on the eve of her ninetieth birthday. Telling the truth has not been something that came easy to stubborn Christa, who found herself entangled in a web of lies over the last decades. Therefore it’s no surprise that the old lady’s confession throws the entire family into a dither.

Was Christa, who emigrated to Iceland from Germany in 1949 and became one the richest estate agents on the island, a Nazi sympathiser? And what has Christa’s friend Jóhanna, who is of German descent, got to do with it? The same woman who once saved Christa’s life and now lives secluded on a farm near the glacier. It is only Christa’s grandson Jón, who is a cellist with a German symphony orchestra and travelled to Iceland for Christa’s birthday, who seems to reach his grandmother’s heart in the tumult of the festivities. In the process, he not only uncovers Christa’s secret, but also that of Jóhanna and her daughter Léontine, who has just been arrested for redeploying capital to foreign shell companies.


'Reminiscent of 'Old Country' by Dörte Hansen. A confession of the lives of three different women, who originally only came to Iceland for a year in 1949 to work in agriculture. A well-written novel leaving you also to learn a lot about the history of Iceland in the 20th Century until its financial crisis.'

'A beautiful novel.'

'Anne Siegel gives Iceland a voice. Which is tender, strong and feminine.'

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Anne Siegel

is an award winning filmmaker, author, TV and radio journalist and writer. She lives in San Francisco and Cologne/Germany and has worked as a foreign correspondent in Israel and Palestine, produced features in Iceland, Denmark, Great Britain, the United States and North Africa. She is also the co-creator of several German comedy TV shows and in addition wrote, directed and produced a number of documentaries as well as video-installations and radio plays.

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'A novel about leaving behind, starting anew, belonging and family. Gripping and moving.'

' Anne Siegel’s books are pure pleasure between two book covers.'

' A novel full of warmth and a passionate political plea.'

'Astonishment all over when the Northern Brides in Anne Siegel's novel come clean. Fast-paced and excellently written!'