In nineteenth-century Norway, a woman’s life is shaped and shadowed by a childhood tragedy: “Spellbinding . . . haunting” (Publishers Weekly).
Dina carries a terrible burden: at the age of five, she accidentally caused her mother’s death. Blamed by her father and banished to a farm, she grows up untamed and untaught. No one leads the child through her grief, and the accident remains a gruesome riddle, with Dina left haunted by the vindictive spirit of her mother. When her father agrees to take her back after several years, his efforts to cultivate her have little lasting effect.
Tamed only by her tutor, who is able to reach her through music and draw out her gift for mathematics, Dina remains private and closely guarded, while her unconventional behavior and erotic power enchant and ensnare those around her. At age sixteen, she is married off to Jacob, a wealthy fifty-year-old landowner, who later dies under odd circumstances. Wrestling with her two unappeased ghosts, Dina becomes mute and then emerges from her shock to run Jacob’s estate with an iron hand—until one day a mysterious stranger, the Russian wanderer Leo, enters her life and changes it forever.
“[A] gut-wrenching portrait of a woman forever in the grip of her past.” —Los Angeles Times
“The fine line between sanity and insanity is tested in this riveting novel . . . The setting is vividly portrayed, and the action brings one surprise after another.” —Library Journal
“This ravishing tale is not to be missed.” —Booklist
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