The Voyage of the Narwhal
Capturing a crucial moment in the history of exploration--the mid-nineteenth century romance with the Arctic--Andrea Barrett's compelling novel tells the story of a fateful expedition. Through the eyes of the ship's scholar-naturalist, Erasmus Darwin Wells, we encounter the Narwhal's crew, its commander, and the far-north culture of the Esquimaux. In counterpoint, we meet the women left behind in Philadelphia, explorers only in imagination. Together, those who travel and those who stay weave a web of myth and mystery, finally discovering what they had not sought, the secrets of their own hearts.
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Breathtaking...exquisitely written in every way...fully worthy of the massive, dangerous subject it undertakes.
[B]oth cunningly cerebral and hair-raisingly visceral...This is an astonishingly good book by a writer we must declare as major.
A wonderful book in the truest sense of the word--wonder-filled.
This novel takes off over the sea, straight out of history and into tragedy...We get to luxuriate in the promise of retribution and in finely calibrated, persuasive prose.
Stunning...Barrett shows the arrogance and delusion that drove the age of exploration better than any nonfiction book could.