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Under a Pole Star

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards 2017, Costa Novel Award

Flora Mackie leads a remarkable life.  Daughter of a whaling captain, with her mother dead, she spent many of her teenage years sailing with him and living with the Inuit of Greenland.  When grown, it naturally suits her to join an Arctic expedition with a British scientific team.  Jakob de Beyn’s obsession with ice and glaciers also leads him north with an American expedition.  Though they meet only briefly, he and Flora live similar lives with many parallels and some extraordinary stories.  Hardship and determination colour both to the point where it is the Arctic that feels like home and the civilised Victorian world that seems hostile, and it is those sections that I found the most thrilling.  Stef Penney’s book is huge; in length, in distances crossed, in ideas, in drama.  Her elegant prose is a joy to read.  Stretching from 1883 to 1948, it is not a novel of one thing only; not a portrait of a time, not a love story, not a cultural exploration, not an adventure story but all these things together, making it, above all, an excellent read. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

A Piece of Passion from the Jane Wood, Publisher, Quercus:

Dear Reader,

I hope you’re wrapped up warm. Within these pages are driving blizzards, weeping glaciers and a sea frozen into concrete – all conjured so realistically that you may find your breath misting in front of you as you read. Stef Penney’s power to create a world remote in time and place that feels as real as the book you are holding is unparalleled, and in Under a Pole Star she outdoes even her stunning achievements in The Tenderness of Wolves.

Although this book has a cold setting, it has a warm heart. I fell completely in love with clever, wry Flora Mackie and her determination to be an Arctic explorer. As she overcomes all obstacles to be seen as a real scientist and a true leader, I hope you will be as swept up in her adventures and her life-changing love affair as I was.

Under a Pole Star is a truly epic story that will stay with you long after you read it. Enjoy the journey.

The Costa Judges say: ‘A novel of huge scope with a tremendous sense of period and place.’

Sarah Broadhurst

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