Maija, husband Paavo, and their two daughters trade homes with a relative and move to the Swedish Lapland in 1717. Paavo is a fisherman but has become afraid of the water, making this a good chance for the family to start new. As they move to the mountains, the two daughters come across a dead body. Maija finds other settlers to come examine the body and learns of the dynamics on the mountain. There are a few other families, a priest in the valley, a nobleman and his wife, and the local Lapps. Maija has to wade through old relationships and dredge up past history to determine who has murdered this man. The information does not come easy. When the ghost of this man starts visiting Frederika and she can hear the mountains, the family must quickly find out what happened before anyone else gets hurt.
The majority of this book takes place over the winter and the cold hung over this book giving it an incredibly dreary feeling. Getting through the book, at times, was almost like trying to wade through waist-high snow like the characters. In addition to the winter was the dark. There is no sunlight over the winter in this part of the world and despite all the descriptions for this and the eeriness the book had, I still had troubles picturing this forever night. Despite this, the atmosphere as a whole was incredibly well written.
Reading this book made me feel like I was back watching the TV show Lost. They both keep throwing twists and turns at you and there are varying degrees of supernatural elements at work, but you either never get a full resolution or the questions never get answered. In addition, virtually no hints were dropped about who was responsible. It made for a rather frustrating read, despite being a page turner near the end. I wanted the author to give me some resolution but hardly anything was solved until the last few pages which made things feel unfinished. Some things were never fully explained to my satisfaction either. Like what Frederika did about the wolves and why the letters were kept from Maija.
First Line: "'But how far is it?'"