Quercus Under a Pole Star

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Enter for a chance to win a copy of Stef Penney’s Under a Pole Star, courtesy of Quercus and Bookstr! Twenty lucky winners will win a copy of Stef Penney’s Under a Pole Star, winner of the 2017 Wilbur and Niso Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel!


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About the book:


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.


Rave reviews:


“A fascinating, mysterious historical novel about a female explorer in a world of men at the end of the nineteenth century. Under a Pole Star is an adventure, an illicit romance, and a life-defying exploration of a land most of us know nothing about. The contrast of the lovers’ blazing relationship set against the frigid Arctic and the secrets that propel the narrative will keep readers riveted in this hard-to-forget, mesmerizing tale!” —M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author


“Serious issues like gender bias and exploitation are adeptly handled, and the icy Arctic setting comes alive in passages of shimmering beauty . . . An exceptional epic about an unconventional woman’s life and loves.” —Booklist, starred review


“Penney’s prose is rapturous, whether she is describing the ‘overwhelmingly rich–glorious and unnecessary’ landscape, or in her detailed and richly imagined passages on the attraction and intimacy between Flora and Jakob. By telling their story through recollection and the le
tters that they send, Penney imparts an additional layer of suspense, with neither the reader nor the characters knowing what may come, resulting in an exciting and transportive novel.” —Publishers Weekly


“Penney does a masterly job of melding Flora’s story with the more factual accounts of polar expeditions, and many of her characters are taken from the pages of history . . . A gripping tale about the men and women who were driven to conquer the Arctic. Bound to appeal to admirers of Eowyn Ivey’s To the Bright Edge of the World.” —Library Journal, starred review