A terrific tale of high endeavour and polar peril in the frozen north, and of the greater dangers that lie in wait in the seeming tranquillity of Civilization.
Intelligent, accessible literary fiction of the highest order. Superbly dramatic, the novel's themes are entirely embodied in its action and its characters (no speeches, no authorial pronouncements).
Many an ambitious Victorian voyager was mesmerized northwards to the Pole and Zeke Voorhees, an irrepressible young man brought up on marine yarns, is one such. His own inherent magnetism gathers to him a ship's crew as varied and as intriguing as the polar flora and fauna two of their number are so keen to observe as natural historians. Voorhees sets his ship's course in the wake of Franklin's infamous expedition in search of an Open Polar Sea, but the Narwhal soon runs into difficulties all its own. Meanwhile back home in a New England humming with new ideas, all is frustration for the women the brave explorers leave behind...
A terrific tale of high endeavour and polar peril that inverts Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow.
A brilliant portrait of a society obsessed with mapping and classifying everything under the sun - including the icy Arctic - where the
emancipation of women and the evolution of species are the next great revolutions just stirring into life; and where a man (but not a woman) becomes a man by being outward bound, an adventurer, an explorer; and where millions are eager to hear these heroes' tales of peril on the seas, on the ice.
Andrea Barrett lives in upstate New York. This is her fifth book.