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In 1616, as the last warm days dwindle in the north Atlantic, the men on an English whaling ship prepare to head back toward home. But there is one exception among them: the quiet, headstrong Thomas Cave. For Cave has bet the rest of the crew that he can spend a winter on this Arctic island. Alone.
His shipmates sail away, the days shorten, and the cold weather moves in. Thomas Cave faces months of darkness, ice, and blizzards. He has nothing to his name except his rations, shelter, and a journal-a record in case he doesn't survive to tell his story. But nothing so threatens the willful sailor as his own mind: he is haunted by the remembrances of another life and a lost love. From his post at the edge of the known world, Cave sees his own past, and begins to reflect on man's relationship with God and the wilderness.
A beautiful, ghostly tale, The Solitude of Thomas Cave brings us back to the beginning of the modern world, in a story infused with the violence, power and beauty that define both man and nature.
Georgina Harding is the author of two works of non-fiction: Tranquebar: A Season in South India and In Another Europe. She lives in Colchester, England. This is her first novel.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, October 2010
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