This is the story of a frozen heart. Peter Peterson fell in love with a girl who tolerated him, perhaps even led him on. Peter followed her from Iceland to Denmark in 1941 where he learned that she opened to another young man. He still loves her, denies that she is lost to him and arranges a weekend away with her. When in his burning desire for her he attempts to make love to her, she rejects him utterly. He takes revenge by informing on her lover to German authorities in occupied Copenhagen. This crime imprisons him for the remainder of his damaged, closed life.
The writing is spare and lucid. The slow-burning fuse of the narrator's guilt propels the reader forward through the thickets of an average lonely life. There is a distance in the narrative, however, that holds the reader at arms length. As a result, this reader's take-away is qualified; similar to a footnote that sticks in the memory after details of the tale break apart and fade.