Alexei is the highly respected head of the Soviet Union’s meteorology department. He is also a loving family man, devoted to his wife and his 4-year-old daughter Eleonora. But one fateful morning in 1934, less than a year after being hailed by Stalin as a national hero, he is suddenly arrested and exiled to a gulag. With thousands of other political prisoners, he spends his remaining years on an island in the frozen north, under vast skies and surrounded by water that was, for more than 6 months of the year, a sheet of motionless ice. Olivier Rolin masterfully pieces together Alexei’s story and his eventual horrifying fate, drawing on an archive of letters and beautiful drawings of the natural world which Alexei sent home to his family.