An unsettling, atmospheric tale of ambition and rivalry, madness and revenge, in the vein of Sarah Waters and Beryl Bainbridge
As Queen Victoria's reign reaches its end, Grace Farringdon dreams of polar explorations and of escape from her stifling home with her protective parents and eccentric, agoraphobic sister. But when Grace secretly applies to Candlin, a women's college filled with intelligent, like-minded women, she finally feels her ambitions beginning to be take shape. There she forms an Antarctic Exploration Society with the gregarious suffragette Locke, the reserved and studious Hooper, and the strange, enigmatic Parr, and before long the group are defying their times and their families by climbing the peaks of Snowdonia and planning an ambitious trip to the perilous Alps. Fifteen years later, trapped in her Dulwich home, Grace is haunted by the terrible events that took place out on the mountains. She is the society's only survivor and for years people have demanded the truth of what happened, the group's horrible legacy a millstone around her neck. Now, as the eve of World War II approaches, Grace is finally ready to remember and to confess.
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 3.30(d)|
About the Author
Susanna Jones is the author of The Earthquake Bird, The Missing Person's Guide to Love, and Water Lily. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages and has won the CWA John Creasey Dagger, a Betty Trask Award, and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book opens with Grace dreaming of climbing the Matterhorn. We are told that the morrow will be the anniversary of some momentous event that Grace doesn¿t really want to remember ¿ but now the train of thought is started, she cannot help but reminisce.The story then moves back to Grace¿s youth. Her father¿s stories of polar expeditions fill her imagination, and she longs to escape her mundane life. Despite parental resistance, Grace goes to college and studies science. There she meets up with like minded young women and forms the Antarctic Exploration Society.15 years later, Grace looks back on their last climb together (of which, we know she is the only survivor). She unfolds for us a story of female friendship and family tensions, of fascination with polar exploration and longing for adventure, of social change, and in the end, tragedy.I loved the way the story unfolded, and especially the way the reader gradually comes to doubt Grace¿s sanity and/or the truthfulness of her retelling of events. I found the book very atmospheric, and it has some lovely descriptive passages. On the down side, I wasn¿t too convinced by the characterisations of the other women, and I would have liked it to gather more pace and tension towards the end.