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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. 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.

©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

4.1 (62 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Overall
4.0 (60 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Story
4.6 (59 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 15/10/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mclawz London, United Kingdom 23/09/2017
    Mclawz London, United Kingdom 23/09/2017 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Úna 10/03/2017
    Úna 10/03/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    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
  •  
    Clare 12/01/2017
    Clare 12/01/2017 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 08/12/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    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
  •  
    S. Malvik london, uk 19/01/2018
    S. Malvik london, uk 19/01/2018 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Struggled a bit with this one "

    I really enjoyed Stef Penney’s other books and I really enjoyed the narration, but the story was heavy going.

    Contrary to other reviewers I did NOT think there were too much sex. In a book of this many hours with several people falling in love, I think the 4-5 instances of sex was ok. And they were neither overly long nor descriptive.

    I also in principle enjoyed the topic and the cultural knowledge Penney brings to any book she writes, but the story just somehow didn’t resonate. Not sure why. I did finish it, stuck with it, but for sure will not listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MISS S. 17/01/2018
    MISS S. 17/01/2018 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "should have been good, really boring until end"

    Could have been a really good story but way too long and over detailed/written... struggled to get through it, gets a bit better right at the end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew D 16/01/2018
    Andrew D 16/01/2018 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    10
    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "Wonderful "
    Any additional comments?

    Best book I have read in recent months - great evocation of the early arctic explorations, strong characters, gripping story. If the book has a weakness I think it is in the length and number of graphic descriptions of the main characters' sexual experiences. The author does write better than most about sex, but I thought there was a bit too much of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 15/12/2017 Member Since 2017
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    32
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    Story
    "Loved it."

    Very much enjoyed this book, a glimpse into an entirely different time and place brought vividly alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nike Devon 02/12/2017
    Nike Devon 02/12/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the book and narrators. Thanks"

    Yes well constructed and engrossing. Fascinating narrative and convincing ly historical. Thanks for the creative effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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