Flora Mackie had an unconventional upbringing thanks to her father's
profession as a whaler, who sailed numerous times to the Pole and
often brought Flora with him, whetting her appetite for adventure and
to be more than just the wife and mother Victorian society expects of
her. For a while, Flora is known as the Snow Queen, but her cold
exterior begins to thaw when she meets Jakob de Beyn, a fellow
explorer whose passion for the Arctic matches her own...
UNDER A POLE STAR by Stef
Penney is a hidden gem of historical fiction and I feel that it deserves a
lot more attention than it received. It's richly detailed and Penney's
vivid descriptions of the North Pole are a wonder to read through. UNDER A POLE STAR is educational,
surprising, and feels extremely life-like in terms of how Flora and Jakob
live their lives. I hated being apart from UNDER A POLE STAR, and despite the length of the
book at 578 pages, I finished it quickly. Without spoiling anything, a
number of events will be shocking to our modern sensibilities and those
particular events will bring up the moral dilemmas of what will be the
right thing to do.
One fault I did have with this book was the relationship between Flora
Mackie and Jakob de Beyn. I found it difficult to believe in their so-
called chemistry. I am not quite sure what attracted to them to each
other or why they liked one another. But other than this lack chemistry,
UNDER A POLE STAR is a
worthwhile read in every way.
For a reader seeking a book that is historical, explores characters and
their lives in a great amount of detail, takes place in the Arctic terrain,
and has an amazing heroine who won't let people dictate how she
should live her life, UNDER A POLE
STAR by Stef Penney should not be missed.
A whaler's daughter, Flora Mackie first crossed the
Arctic Circle at the age of twelve and fell in love with
the cold and unforgiving terrain. In 1889, she sets out
to become a scientist and explorer. Despite those who
believe that a young woman has no place in this harsh
world of men, her determination leads her back to
northern Greenland at the head of a British expedition.
Yearning for wider horizons, American geologist Jakob de
Beyn joins a rival expedition led by the furiously driven
Lester Armitage. When the path of Flora's expedition
meets theirs, the three lives become intertwined. All are
obsessed with the north, a place where violent extremes
exist side by side: perpetual night and endless day;
frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and lies.
Armitage's ruthless desire to be the true leader of polar
discovery takes him and his men on a mission whose tragic
outcome will reverberate for years to come.
Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern
Greenland, and fin-de-siècle New York and London, Under a
Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the
golden age of exploration, a study of the corrosive power
of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story. It shows
that sometimes you have to travel to the furthest edge of
the world in order to find your true place in it.