My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don't know how the author pulled this off with all the skipping around in time but it made perfect sense. I read ENDURANCE, the true account of Shackleton's attempt to cross the South Pole, years ago. It was completely fascinating, exhausting, and uplifting. There was no doubt in my mind that the Antarctic is beautiful, fragile, yet brutal and fierce.
This is a novel that introduces more detail to the beauty of the Antarctic and the harsh realities and plight of the penguin in the changing climate and introduction of ships and people. Yet the environmental part was introduced so seamlessly, I was too fascinated by it to yell "Tree Hugger!"
I like trees. I like penguins. I believe in being environmentally responsible. I live with carnivores. I'm more of a herbivore only because hyperemesis during pregnancies ruined the meat eating experience for me. But go ahead and eat that steak. I eat my chickens' eggs. I'm okay with the annual deer hunt as long as I don't have to eat the deer. Or kill and clean the deer.
But there was much more to the book. There was the human factor - the story of Deb and Keller; their reasons for choosing the desolate and beautiful southern tip of the earth. Solid story line. There is also a shipwreck which is really where the story begins and ends. Deb's POV begins with today then quickly slips to five years ago, the day of the shipwreck. Then the story backtracks and builds again to the shipwreck. It's kind of a cross between Shackleton's own ship imploding from the pressure of the ocean ice, and the Titanic hitting an iceberg. Both are catastrophic yet, if it happens in Antarctica, there are the added interest of shelves of ice to walk on, get stranded upon, icebergs calfing or tipping, orcas, penguins, wind, freezing rain, hypothermia, water freezing below 32 degrees due to salinity, different ice consistencies, and so many more details I would not have considered. Nor can I reveal for fear of spoiling the book.
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