John Franklin has moved his fifteen-year-old son to the remote northern Canadian town of Houndstitch to make a new life together after his wife, Thomas' mother, left them. Mourning her disappearance, John, a high school English teacher, writes poetry and escapes into an affair, while Thomas withdraws into a fantasy recreation of the infamous Victorian-era arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin. With teenage bravado, Thomas gives himself scurvy so that he can sympathize with the characters in the film of his mind and is almost lost himself.
While told over the course of only a few days, this gripping tale slips through time, powerfully evoking a modern family in distress and the legendary "Franklin's Lost Expedition" crew's descent into despair, madness, and cannibalism aboard the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror on the Arctic tundra.
"An elaborate tale of family and the paths people take to understanding." (Seattle Times)
"[This] mix of well-researched history and contemporary fiction makes for a fine, sad read." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"Hauntingly honest and emotionally resonant." (Publishers Weekly)
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