COSTA WINNING AUTHOR Stef Penney returns to the wild Arctic setting she brought so vividly to life in THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES, in an epic story of ambition, perseverance and love against the odds. Perfect for fans of TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD and THE ESSEX SERPENT. 'A supreme storyteller' Sunday Times Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of twelve. In 1889, the whaler's daughter from Dundee - dubbed by the press 'The Snow Queen' - sets out to become a scientist and explorer. She struggles to be taken seriously but determination and chance lead her back to northern Greenland at the head of a British expedition, despite the many who believe that a young woman has no place in this harsh world of men. Geologist Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan. Yearning for wider horizons, he joins a rival expedition, led by the furiously driven Lester Armitage. When Jakob and Flora's paths cross, it is a fateful meeting. All three become obsessed with the north, a place where violent extremes exist side by side: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and lies.
Armitage's ruthless desire to be the true leader of polar discovery takes him and his men on a mission whose tragic outcome will reverberate for years to come. Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siecle 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 furthest edge of the world in order to find your true place in it.
A suspenseful epic, offering a leitmotif of constant unease ... impressive Guardian Unquestionably atmospheric, evocative and ... rewarding Independent on Sunday A tense and delicately written thriller Observer A remarkable literary debut ... brilliantly assured, subtly written Scotsman Penney's evocation of the frozen lands of northern Canada couldn't ring truer if she'd spent months wandering through the land with nothing but a pack of huskies and a native tracker for company Guardian Within the first fifty pages I was completely in love. It is a testimony to the power of good writing that it can present you with a world that you think you know nothing about, but by the end of [the book] you feel you own it -- Armando Iannucci This subtle and superb novel bring the freezing landscape of the Canadian woods to such vivid life that the landscape itself becomes a strong character within the story Crimesquad An absorbing and stylish mystery Glasgow Herald A first-rate gripper with a notably sensual and well as psychological understanding of its main characters Globe and Mail
Stef Penney grew up in Edinburgh. She has degrees in Philosophy and Theology and Film and TV, and was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme and has since written and directed two short films. She is the author of The Tenderness of Wolves and The Invisible Ones.