Due to a series of circumstances, Natan was murdered and the murder was pinned on her. She is now awaiting her execution in the home of a local magistrate because they don't have anyplace else to keep her.
The magistrate's family is both terrified of having a murderer in their home and awestruck with Agnes. While Agnes stays at the magistrate's home she is asked to help with the gardening and the washing, and while doing these things, she slowly gets to know the family, and they, her.
The tale of what really happened to Natan comes out one evening when the magistrates wife cannot sleep and neither can Agnes. During the telling of this tale, Agnes becomes human to the magistrates wife and her sympathies go toward Agnes, instead of against.
I really enjoyed this book. It takes place in Iceland and most of the names of people and places were hard to pronounce, but the fact that it takes place in Iceland really comes through in the writing and you get a real feel for what it must have been like to live in Iceland in the mid-1800's.
If you are the least bit squeemish about animal cruelty, then don't read this book. There is 1/2 page that talks about how a particular hunter hunts animals that is very disturbing. And I usually don't have a problem with reading about people hunting and animals being killed for food - so that tells you how disturbing it is.
Rating: 9 / 10
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Edition: 1st Edition