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Under a Pole Star Audiobook

Under a Pole Star

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Publisher's Summary

The Richard & Judy Book Club Pick

Follow the path to the freezing north. Follow your ambition. Follow your heart

Flora Mackie was twelve when she first crossed the Arctic Circle on her father's whaling ship. Now she is returning to the frozen seas as head of her own expedition of exploration.

Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan but his yearning for new horizons leads him to the Arctic as part of a rival expedition. When he and Flora meet there is an instant connection that slowly builds to become an all-consuming love. The affair survives the growing tensions between the two groups. Then, after one last glorious summer on the Greenland coast, Jakob joins his leader on an extended trip into the interior, with devastating results.

The stark beauty of the Arctic, where pack ice can crush a ship like an eggshell, and the empty sweep of the tundra, alternately a snow-muffled wasteland and an unexpectedly gentle meadow, are vividly evoked. Against this backdrop Stef Penney weaves an irresistible love story, a compelling look at the dark side of the golden age of exploration, and a mystery that Flora, returning one last time to the North Pole as an old woman, will finally lay to rest.

©2016 Stef Penney (P)2016 WF Howes Ltd

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


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  • Úna
    3/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Adventure!"
    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John
    11/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another memorable story."

    After 'The Tenderness of Wolves' and 'The Invisible Ones' Steff Penny has won my trust as a storyteller. I would read anything she writes and there is lots to admire about exploration and hardship and the native Greenlanders but I was not gripped at the start.The story develops into a love story stretching from London and New York to the Arctic. It is written with a subtle intensity and completeness that includes some very graphic descriptions of intimacy. The power of these scenes and how they contrast with the society of the time is undeniable and is realised in the very satisfying final chapters when some of the tension is built on our knowledge of them. My favorite of Ms Penny's novels remains 'The Invisible Ones' but here is another excellent book full of interesting and well drawn people. It is almost a week since i finished it and I still think of the final scenes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Clare
    AberdeenUnited Kingdom
    1/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. L. V. Hurley
    12/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not sure"

    Well I'm not sure if I did or didn't like this book.
    I certainly wasn't rushing to finish it.
    It felt like listening to soft porn disguised as a book about a travelling.
    The constant sex scenes became boring and unnecessary.
    Would of liked more about her actual experiences exploring the North Pole.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    10/15/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too long winded"

    A lot to enjoy here - I liked the main character Flora and loved the lyrical descriptions of the Arctic. However this book could have been reduced by a third and would be much the better for it. The same conversations take place several times which is very tiresome. Far too much and too detailed back story. Just too long. In the end I was glad to finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gavrilo Princip
    Las Mercedes City
    10/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too much sex"

    while it was a pretty enjoyable book, there simply was too much sex and this not me being prudish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mclawz
    London, United Kingdom
    9/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed 😔"

    I previous read and enjoyed Penny's other books, particularly the Invisible Ones which is one of my all time faves. So when I saw this read by Cathleen McCarron (who narrates Elenor Oliphant-another favourite) my hopes were high. I returned it after about 4 hours. It dragged on, the initial few chapters I liked but as it went on I lost interest more and more. I think this is a bit of a marmite book as some reviews are excellent. Penny describes thinks in lush detail and in that way, it's lovely to listen to. However I only get one credit a month and can't afford to waste it- sadly. McCarron's narration is spot on though, so it gets 3 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    1/13/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another wonderful book from Stef Penney"

    It is hard to believe that Stef Penney can keep producing books to the same high standard. Finishing the book felt like a bereavement from the characters and the landscape. A magical journey to the arctic lands with a wealth of description. The accents of the Inuits made the audiobook seem very authentic - as if we were in their igloos with them. Excellent performances from the narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    Montaigu de quercy, France
    1/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Under a Pole Star to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I enjoyed the different voices


    What did you like best about this story?

    The heroine , she was a fascinating character from start to finish


    What does Cathleen McCarron and Thomas Judd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    They were excellent narrators , both of them


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    there were many moving scenes


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this story , Steph Penny is a wonderful author and this latest book is even better than her previous

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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