A young bride must contend with ancient superstitions, disturbing secrets, and her mysterious new husband in this gothic historical novel, set in late-seventeeth-century Iceland, with the eerie, romantic atmosphere of Jane Eyre and Rebecca and the dark, haunting mystery of Burial Rites.
When her father dies unexpectedly and her Mamma falls ill, young Rósa’s life is irrevocably changed. To secure her future, the young woman marries a visiting trader, a widower, putting aside the rumors that have long been whispered about his first wife’s mysterious death.
Journeying across the treacherous countryside, Rósa moves to Jón’s secluded home near the sea. As she struggles to adapt to her new circumstances in this unfamiliar place, Rosa is startled by the fierce loneliness that accompanies her new marriage. Her husband is rarely at home, working long days in the fields or on the road, selling his wares.
While Jón expects her to tend the house with the deference of a good Christian wife, he forbids Rósa from entering the attic, which he always keeps locked. Rósa prays to the Christian god, but clings to the enchantments of the old gods of her ancestors to protect her. When she begins to hear strange noises coming from behind the attic door, Rósa turns to the local villagers, who confirm the dark rumors she’s heard about Jón. As her isolation begins to play tricks on her mind, Rósa becomes obsessed with Jón’s secrets and his past. What—or who—is in the attic? What happened to Jón’s first wife? Was she mad, a witch, or just a victim of Jón’s aloof nature?
Then Jón is brutally maimed in an accident, setting in motion a series of events that will force Rósa to choose between obedience and defiance—with her own survival hanging in the balance