We could be in one of the far flung Scottish islands – but we are not, we are in Norway – on one of their far flung islands where there is a very small community, everyone knows everyone else’s business, there is nothing to do, and it is very cold, very wet and very dark most of the year. Yes, the correct type of place to hide away in total isolation and be a hermit. it is also rather windy as next stop is America and the wind comes across a cold ocean. [No point having a balcony when you go across by boat we found out after having paid extra for one!]
As with many of these remote islands, the animals, usually sheep, are of a rare breed who have learnt to survive on a very particular diet which only exists on one island. Like the Soay sheep or the Boreray sheep or the Orkney sheep which live on seaweed. Many of these are now feral or are in rare breed farms. So our heroine’s brother has a flock of his rare breed sheep – Norway has a few too – in fact there are more rare breed sheep than any other type of animal as man has spent of his energy on cross breeding them for his particular environment. the funniest looking is this one – serious coats here!
We also have a lovely cat belonging to our hermit – a Norwegian Forest cat – this is a large breed of nicely mannered cat but they are smaller than the Maine Coons but just as friendly – we now have 2 Maine Coons and this is our male:
I did think that our hermit had seriously got the Covid and the whole island had the zoom etiquette down pat.
In many ways a quite traditional romance story – beauty and the beast trope – with a nice twist with the island, winter, xmas, and cat.