The Arctic Fury (2020)
Author – Greer Macallister
Genre – Historical Fiction
Page Count – 300 pages
Equal parts court room drama and an adventure which brings to mind the journey of Shackleton, The Arctic Fury keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The book is only 300 pages but feels much longer, full of tense moments and encounters.
Lady Jane Franklin has been looking for her husband who was lost in the arctic north a long time back and it may seem odd that in 1854, she decides to hire a woman but Virginia Reeve is no simple person. She has a life of pure and daunting adventure behind her especially a Very Bad Thing.
Right from the beginning, things begin to feel suspicious. Franklin’s PA of sorts, Brookes mediates all the meetings and essentially decides the women who will join the expedition. Virginia, though suspicious, does not pay much heed to any of it, but as time passes things become more and more weird.
Virginia is asked to pick three women of her choosing but is then asked to remove one. She discovers a thirteenth woman ready to join the group at the last moment. She finds herself butting heads with Caprice Collins, a headstrong mountaineer of high society, whose death on the expedition puts Virginia behind the bars and under public scrutiny.
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The details of the journey are heart wrenching. It must not have been easy for any explorer to take up such projects but even more so for women as is evident of the group’s journey aboard the Doris, where they are ill-treated by sailors.
In fact, the more time that is spent in the court room part of the book, the more clear it becomes that Virginia is only blamed Caprice’s death because she is a woman. Her competency to lead such an expedition is questioned frequently and her move is scrutinized and ridiculed.
The Arctic Fury makes for an adventurous read but it is so much more than that. There is Virginia’s past, her time in the jail, her relationship with the other women and her dreams and desires. If you are looking for a chilling read with an abundance of heart, you should pick this book this December.
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