Under A Pole Star

Under A Pole Star

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A whaler's daughter, Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of twelve, falling in love with the cold and unforgiving terrain and forging lifelong bonds with the Inuit people who have carved out an existence on its icy plains. She sets out to become a scientist and polar explorer, despite those who believe that a young woman has no place in this harsh world, and in 1892, 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 crosses theirs, the three lives become intertwined. All are obsessed with the north, a place of violent extremes: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and selfishness. Armitage's ruthless desire to be the undisputed leader of polar discovery sets in motion a chain of events whose tragic outcomes--both for his team of scientists and the indigenous people of Greenland--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 farthest edge of the world in order to find your true place in it.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Quercus,, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781681441177
Branch Call Number: FICTION PEN
Characteristics: 580 pages : map ; 24 cm


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Mar 09, 2018

I really enjoyed reading about Flora leading an Arctic exploration in 19th century. It was nice to see a strong woman who went after her dreams during a time when women didn't have much rights because of their gender. The romance part was nice and I really liked the Jakob character--he felt genuine to me. The downside of this book? I got a bit tired of how Author Stef Penney wrote so many very detailed & long sex scenes throughout the book. I understand it was part of how Flora and Jakob discovered themselves and what they wanted in life. However, I felt it was distracting at times because I wanted to read about explorations, not about detailed and long sex moments in the book. I would've given 5 stars if it did not have so many of those scenes throughout the book.

JessicaGma Jan 15, 2018

An extremely well written tale of Arctic exploration in the late 1800s where the three main characters are all interconnected. I wasn't sure how it was all going to play out, but it was a really great read. Highly recommended.

SnoIsleLib_DeniseD Nov 22, 2017

Ms. Penney, you had me at nineteenth century woman-led Arctic exploration. Then you added complex, haunting characters, a detailed sense of place and time, and candid situations? Render me captivated. Bravo! My favorite novel of 2017.

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