A modest, inoffensive fabrication based on an unblinking scrutiny of two ancient sagas of Greenland and Iceland dealing with the New World voyages of Leif Eriksson and others. Unless, like Gardner in Grendel, an author meets primitive mythic metaphor on its own terms, he is apt to distort the vitality of both the original source and his characters. Gudrid, here, is neither goddess nor fully realized woman but a device to reconstruct some rather fascinating history. With her father she followed Eric the Red to Greenland from Iceland and this is the story of her life with three husbands, one of whom took her wintering in uncolonized 11th century America. It's a tale of survival, arrivals and departures, with stark land and seascapes. The author conscientiously supplies notes, maps and headings indicating the source of each section. But those longboats may well rock readers to sleep before they reach the fjords.