Amateur psychotherapy by the Bering Sea as a would-be suicide and an Irish nurse talk each other blue and eventually into marriage. Bill Williams, unwillingly rescued by Eskimos from a watery annihilation, becomes a member of a small hunting-fishing village. One of the four white residents is Margaret Fiona McGlaughlin, who in no time at all is calling him ""old son"" and ""Boysadear,"" exclaiming ""och"" before breezy sallies, and tossing off fillips like ""for this relief much thanks."" The pair exchange views on civilization and man's destiny -- ""The basis of life, Ismael, is feeling; feeling, feeling, feeling."" Between encounters, Bill adjusts nicely to the Eskimo group, kills a brown bear which gives him a wallop of power, rescues a boy from the wilds, and becomes the target of Randolph, who had, alas, been sharing Fiona's sleeping bag. Honest talk with Randolph on a gut level and a similar confrontation with Fiona leads to a union and the ""chance to live, to move, to be."" And to talk, presumably until melts an igloo.