The Sacrament


Product Details

Ecco Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.2 X 8.9 inches | 1.01 pounds

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About the Author

Olaf Olafsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1962. He studied physics as a Wien scholar at Brandeis University. He is the author of six previous novels, The Journey Home, Absolution, Walking into the Night, Restoration, One Station Away, and The Sacrament, and a story collection, Valentines. He spends his time in New York City, Sag Harbor, and Reykjavik.


"The novel confounds our expectations, sifting through memory, as it evolves into a low-simmering psychological thriller. Recommended."--Library Journal
"[A] gripping, masterfully constructed story toward redemption and justice."--Booklist
"Emotionally gratifying and spiritually challenging--a compelling novel that grabs the reader's psyche and won't let go."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A mesmerizing and powerful look at abuse in the Catholic astounding dénouement, delves into the balance between justice and vengeance, and the power of conviction, absolution, and redemption. This is an incisive novel."--Publishers Weekly
"It's a rare story that marries the suspense of a mystery with depth of thought, but in The Sacrament, Olaf Olafsson manages this alliance with a scientist's mind and an artist's eye... One reads this novel both eager and wary of knowing its secret fully, like the meaning of a dream."--Roger Rosenblatt
"The Sacrament is a miraculous novel. A delicate, literary page-turner, narrated by an unforgettable character whose life the reader will long remember after the last page is turned. With austere and beautiful prose, Olafsson has written a novel full of love, mystery, and regret. Fantastic."--Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Little Faith
"The latest from Olafsson...feels at first like a classic study in Scandi noir, that austere genre of frosty characters and snow-flecked mystery. But something more tender and ephemeral lurks beneath Sacrament's bare outlines ... Moving in clean declarative prose between '60s Paris, '80s Iceland, and the modern day, the novel's core temperature sometimes runs too cool; there's real devastation, though, in the revelations of its final chapters, and freedom, too."--Entertainment Weekly
"Olafsson's sparse, unadorned language intensifies an understanding that this story is indirectly about those who are voiceless... wonderful, empathic...[The Sacrament] had an excoriating effect on me as a reader, but this is to Olafsson's credit rather than fault."--New York Times Book Review