High-spirited and precocious Freya is the only child of her late-in-life, widowed mother, who waits until Freya is a coltish seven to finally return to Manitoba , Canada , to visit her mother and her sister, wild and beautiful Birdie. Freya’s grandfather was a revered poet, and her family is proud of their Icelandic heritage, especially Birdie, who insists that her niece learn Icelandic and memorize the ancient sagas, a mission that turns disastrous. Freya tells the story of her strange, nearly catastrophic girlhood years later, an act that liberates her from a lonely and smothering life. This wounded daughter of a land of the midnight sun recounts a journey to Iceland as dramatic, dangerous, and mysterious as any ancient epic adventure, and retraces her ardent quest for the truth about a staggering family secret. Steeped in the highly symbolic mythology, complex language, and otherworldly landscape of Iceland, and the little-known story of the nineteenth-century Icelandic diaspora, Sunley’s astonishingly accomplished debut is a bewitching tale of volcanic emotions, cultural inheritance, family sorrows, mental illness, and life-altering discoveries.