Under a Pole Star

  • by Stef Penney
  • Narrated by Cathleen McCarron, Thomas Judd
  • 20 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Richard & Judy Book Club Pick. Shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Novel Award.
Follow the path to the freezing north. Follow your ambition. Follow your heart
Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of 12. Years later, in 1892, determination and chance lead her back to northern Greenland as a scientist at the head of a British expedition, defying the expectations of those who believe a woman has no place in that harsh world.
Geologist Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan. Yearning for wider horizons, he joins a rival expedition. Jakob and Flora's paths cross. It is a fateful meeting, where passion and ambition collide and an irresistible attraction is born.
The violent extremes of the north obsess them both: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows, and the strange, maddening pull it exerts on the people trying to make their mark on its vast expanses - a pursuit of glory whose outcome will reverberate for years to come.


What the Critics Say

"A supreme storyteller." (Sunday Times)
"One of the best novels I have read for a very long time." (Richard Madely)
"A dazzling tale of romance and survival." (Guardian)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


What did you like most about Under a Pole Star?

The main character Flora is a brilliant creation.

What did you like best about this story?

I like the chronicle approach - building a picture of a whole human life from start to finish, I also loved the depiction of Flora's relationships with other people, particularly the Inuit people.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

One scene near the end made me cry.

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- Úna

Excessively long and numerous passages of sex spoil an entertaining story well told

Such a shame! Lovely evocative passages describing the polar landscape, fascinating insights into Inuit culture, unexplained deaths and a love story running through it all. So many elements that could have made a wonderful novel. But I have never read a book with so much, such prolonged and such explicit sex. Of course it's a powerful component of the lovers' story, but a substantial edit of all of their sexual encounters wouldn't affect the reader's sympathy for or understanding of their story and would have made the novel a considerably better read for me.

I nearly gave up on this book four or five times. Certainly not recommended for younger readers...
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- Clare

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-11-2016
  • Publisher: Quercus