Halldór Laxness’ Independent People is a timeless tale of poverty and pride. Set in early twentieth-century rural Iceland, this epic novel tells the story of Bjartur, a sheep farmer, who is determined to escape the bonds of peasantry regardless of the cost to himself or his family. Bjartur’s brusque stubbornness often repels first-time readers, but there is more to him than meets the eye. Laxness’ description of the Icelandic countryside is both picturesque and awe-inspiring (it may even convince you that Maine winters are not so bad after all!). Beautifully written, Independent People is a classic not to be missed.