Monday, January 6, 2014

"Chasing the Light" by Jesse Blackadder

This is the first book I have chosen to read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge for 2014.

According to the publishers it is "A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there".

This is an historical novel, and I found it to be very interesting from the historical perspective of learning something about whaling in Antarctic waters in the 1920-30s as I knew nothing about it really, despite being a supporter of anti-whaling campaigns in modern times. The author (as part of her arts thesis) actually did a lot of historical researching and quite a few little known details and facts of the first women to land on Antarctica are embedded in this novel. However, being a novel, there is lots of speculation and invented angles and interpretations, hyped up romances etc. Some of the invented 'dramas' irritated me, making me think 'really, are you, like, at high school, or in your 30s?' even though I know some 'liberties' and 'equalities' we take for granted now were more taboo in the early 1900s.
Overall I enjoyed the book and feel like I now know a little bit more about that slice of history involving Norwegian whaling in the early 1900s in Antarctic waters and a little more of the adventures of the first women to land in Antarctica. I recently saw a really interesting exhibition on Antarctica and Australian exploration of the continent at the South Australian Museum, and although I dont recall any mention of women explorers or adventurers in the exhibition, it was still fascinating. So if you live in or will be visiting Adelaide soon i recommend you visit the museum and check it out (it's free entry too).  

"Chasing the Light" by Jesse Blackadder
Started reading on my kindle on 6th January 2014
Finished: 15th January 2014
My score: 7/10

Aussie Author Challenge Stats: 
Male Author, New to me, First published in 2013 or 2014.
Genre: Historical fiction 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this title, particularly the quality of Blackadder's prose.