My rating: 5 of 5 stars
People had said this book was really good, but I didn't understand what was so good about it ... it's about a polar expedition? And it has "my love story" in the title? How does that even work? I don't know, something made it seem like I wouldn't like it, but it seemed fitting to pick this up after finishing The Golden Compass yesterday. They're pretty much set in the same place. Ish.
But I was wrong about not liking it.
It is about a polar expedition: the Andrée Expedition back in 1897, which pretty much was doomed from the start due to a great number of things. The three members of it survived for a few months though, walking around on the ice and trying to find someplace to wait out the winter, but then they all died on the so called White Island, not far off Svalbard, and wasn't found until 30 years later. The question is though: why did they die? Despite being lost in Antarctica, they actually had everything going for them and should've survived.
And the love story? That's what makes it interesting. Yes, one of the expedition members was newly engaged and very much in love (it's all very sad), but the real love story is of course Bea Uusma's obsession with the expedition. That's why it's so good: reading about how she becomes obsessed with it and how hard she tries to find an answer to what happened to them, a hundred years later. As someone who is easily obsessed with stuff, I like reading this kinds of things, because I can relate. I've never specifically gone to the north pole to
Obviously, she doesn't find an answer: there is no secret letter explaining what went wrong and why they all died, there's no way to communicate with people who have been dead since 1897 ... but she comes up with an interesting theory, that at least I'm willing to buy. And the thing is: with an answer, it would not be a good riddle anymore. And it really isn't about the answer, it's about trying to find it, and that is a good story on its own.
(By the way, I am 99% sure I had a teacher tell me you could read all about the journey of the Andrée Expedition on Google Earth, by clicking through the locations they were in an reading excerpts from a book written about it ... but I can't find it!! If anyone knows what I'm talking about and how to find that, plz let me know.)
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