Blessed with an ear for music and a fine voice, Baldur finds his fortune but not his love. Smitten at an early age, Baldur is haunted by Lara—a girl of fey spirit destined to be both his muse and tormenter. The daughter of an intimidating and well-connected businessman, Lara leads Baldur from the small Manitoba community of New Iceland to the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Winnipeg. Along the way Baldur is befriended by a young Johnny Ashdown and together they cash in on the boom days of Canada’s early west.
In this modern Icelandic saga, Baldur is buffeted by chance and opportunity in a competitive, unforgiving new world, seeking his one true love.
"Local people will want to read it just so they can identify characters in the story. Others will want to read it because Arnason is a fine writer with a great sense of humour."
"The tone swings between light-hearted comedy and sombre drama, and the novel both mourns and celebrates the lives of the early Icelandic settlers...Arnason's writing is clear and crisp (and) will satisfy readers who want a moving, engrossing novel... he describes Winnipeg as it must have seemed through the eyes of its early entrepreneurs."
- The Winnipeg Free Press
"The lilting, sing-song quality of the book is very simple and yet effective because it highlights the naivete of the lucky young Baldur."
- Rhonda Lorch
"Arnason is a master writer."
- Owen Sound Sun Times
"I love this book. Period."
"Baldur lives his life in that stirring territory between myth and the modern city, and his story stays in your mind like a song."
- Joan Thomas, author of Curiosity
David Arnason is an acclaimed novelist, writer of short fiction, and editor. A finalist for the Leacock Medal for Humour (King Jerry) and a winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award (The Imagined City), David has taught at the University of Manitoba since 1972. He has served as both the acting head of the Department of Icelandic Studies and head of the Department of English. Currently, he lives and writes in Gimli, MB.