A huge, humane revelation of a novel is set in rural Iceland in the early twentieth century, written by the Nobel prize-winner dubbed the 'Tolstoy of the North'. A magnificent portrait of the eerie Icelandic landscape and a man's dogged struggle for independence. 'There are good books and there are great books and there may be a book that is something still more: it is the book of your life' New York Review of Books Bjartus is a sheep farmer determined to eke a living from a blighted patch of land. Nothing, not merciless weather, nor the First World War, nor his family will come between him and his goal of financial independence. Only Asta Solillja, the child he brings up as his daughter, can pierce his stubborn heart. As she grows up, keen to make her own way in the world, Bjartus' obstinacy threatens to estrange them forever.