In 1616 an English whaling ship heads for home, leaving behind the quiet, headstrong Thomas Cave, who has bet the rest of the crew that he can spend a winter on an Arctic island - alone. But nothing so threatens the sailor as his own mind, haunted by the remembrances of another life and a lost love.
"Another haunting little book"
It is the early 1950s. A nameless man is found on the steps of the hospital in Iasi, Romania. He is deaf and mute, but a young nurse named Safta recognizes him from the past and brings him paper and pencils so that he might draw. Gradually, memories appear on the page: The man is Augustin, the cook's son at the manor house at Poiana, where Safta was the privileged daughter.
It is August 1616. The whaling ship Heartsease has ventured high into the Arctic, and the crew must return home before the ice closes in. All, that is, save Thomas Cave. He makes a wager that he will remain there alone until next season, though no man has yet been known to have survived a winter this far north. So he is left with provisions, shelter, and a journal - should he not live to tell the tale.
"Disregard the price tag, use a credit"