In tenth century Iceland a young woman, Thora Thorvinnsdottir, is orphaned at age fifteen, out of a home and close to destitute.
Goaded by her misfortune, Thora strives to fill in the gaps between the warp threads of her life’s weaving pattern – which the Norns, maidens of fate, set up for each mortal as they see fit – with weft threads of her own choosing.
She sails west to the new frontier of Greenland hoping to acquire a new farm of her own.
In Greenland she agrees to a marriage ill-conceived to begin with, and ill-fated in the end. Thora joins her husband’s timber-seeking expedition across the Western sea to an unexplored land rumoured to be the source of driftwood littering Greenland beaches.
In Westland they encounter novel forms of life – plants, animals and people unknown to even the most traveled Norseman among them, and Thora is given a chance to achieve a major goal she set for herself, in a way she never imagined.