A giddying magical fable of the power of unshackled desire, set in a North Sea fishing community.
Maren abstains from salt, meat and sex on Saturdays. On other days of the week, she is magically, magnetically desirable to every man in her remote North Sea fishing village and to all visiting seamen, but has remained totally faithful to her husband. When she crawls into bed with intent in the early hours of one spring Saturday morning her husband is paralysed with shock, not the least because, somehow, she smells of autumn . . .
Within hours Maren's life is crumbling, as is her marriage and the life of her community. She's to be found in a pub full of lusty sailors, baring her breasts before the astonishing regulars and one entirely irregular visitor - a Dutch seaman who, uniquely, remains impervious to her charms. Her unrequited passion for him reaches fever pitch and sparks a sequence of arguments, thefts, fires and fights - the entire tranquil, ordered village goes crazy in her passion's wake.
Through a series of overlapping, contradictory statements from participants and observers - as in a criminal case - the reader is brought to the eye of the whirlwind, and into the presence of passion of absolute purity and absolute fury.