In 1627, Barbary pirates raided an island off the Iceland coast - and abducted the 400 inhabitants into slavery in Algiers. Among them was a pastor, his wife and their three children. The pastor was sent back on a failed mission to seek ransom. But what actually happened to the women and children - what was their fate? Captive in an alien Arab culture, the pastor's wife meets the unravelling of her identity and the least bearable of losses - her three children - with the one thing she has brought from home: the sagas and folktales in her head.