Three main narrative threads are spun into the yarn that is “People Not Seen”.
The second thread consists of Icelandic fairy tales, most of them historic, some more recent.
To not take sides in the disputes about the Elves’ outer appearance (are they dark or fair-haired?), the stories are drawn in a silhouette style reminiscent of old fairy tale illustrations.
By focussing on female protagonists, the fairy tales in “People Not Seen” reflect their origin of having been passed down orally by generations of women. Stories of farmer’s wifes leaving their repressive home for a beautiful Elf, or maidservants that turn out to be powerful Elf queens encapsulate the hopes and fears of women throughout Icelandic history.
In the last chapter of the book, all three threads are spun together to form the end of the story.