Sackville, Amy "The Still Point - 2010
In 1899, Edward Mackley sets out to be the first person to reach the North Pole. His wife Emily stays behind in England to wait for him. A hundred years later, their great-great grandniece Julia starts sifting through the papers, journals, letters, anything left behind by the two while going through a rough patch in her own marriage.
The Financial Times called this "An Excellent Debut". I couldn't agree more. She was also compared to Virginia Woolf. Not a bad comparison. Amy Sackville has a wonderful way of describing feelings and actions at the same time. Her plot is original and interesting, her thoughts somewhat philosophical. Great novel. Looking forward to her next one.
From the back cover:
"At the turn of the twentieth century, Arctic explorer Edward Mackley sets out to reach the North Pole and vanishes into the icy landscape without a trace. He leaves behind a young wife, Emily, who awaits his return for decades, her dreams and devotion gradually freezing into rigid widowhood. A hundred years later, on a sweltering mid-summer's day, Edward's great-grand-niece Julia moves through the old family house, attempting to impose some order on the clutter of inherited belongings and memories from that ill-fated expedition, and taking care to ignore the deepening cracks within her own marriage. But as afternoon turns into evening, Julia makes a discovery that splinters her long-held image of Edward and Emily's romance, and her husband Simon faces a precipitous choice that will decide the future of their relationship. Sharply observed and deeply engaging, The Still Point is a powerful literary debut, and a moving meditation on the distances - geographical and emotional - that can exist between two people."