You have to take your time with this book. It's like eating a whale - you have to do it bit by bit. But it is worth it, because the story will take you by surprise, and lead you to places where it is best to go only in stories. This is a very grim fairy tale based in the reality of 17th century Iceland - a world like ours and nothing like ours. It should cheer you up because your life cannot be as bad as this. A proper Winter's Tale.
Yes, strutting sandpiper, your footprints in the sandy beach are your handwriting; thus you write your ephermeral tales and reports of what you have seen on your short-winged travels .... I learnt to form letters and illuminate capitals in the scriptorium in my grandfather's house, where I was entrusted with the copying and compilation of books .... These were minor works at first, timeless neither in nor in execution .... A ballad or two and verses to entertain the traveller