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These are some of the questions used to determine if you have what it takes to survive at South Pole Station, a place with an average temperature of -54 F and no sunlight for six months a year. Cooper Gosling has just answered 500 of them, and her results indicate that she's abnormal enough for polar life.
Cooper's not so sure that's an achievement, but she's got nothing left to lose, so she decides to accept a one-year assignment to the National Science Foundation's Artists and Writers Program in Antarctica. There, she encounters the Polies, a group of misfits that only have in common their conviction that they don't belong anywhere else. But when a fringe scientist arrives - claiming that climate change is a hoax - his presence rattles the already imbalanced community, bringing them to the center of a global controversy.
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By David on 02-14-18
Antarctic Arts and Science
What an unusual book. The first half is a romantic comedy, with a group of likeable misfits working together at the South Pole Station and looking for their “ice wives” and “ice husbands” for the long dark winter. The second half turns philosophical, with a bitter battle between science and religion and a sweet but troubled artist acting as the go-between.
The main character, Cooper Gosling, has come to the South Pole Station to escape her demoralized family. Her twin brother was a suicide, and her parents have turned against each other and, to a degree, Cooper. She fits in well with the South Pole loners, especially Sal, a physicist with issues with his own father. The author gives several of the “Polies” their own chapters, well-done profiles that highlight the psychology of those who are attracted to the desolate station.
I confess that my interest waned in the second half. The science was hard to follow, and the plot became a little strained. Nevertheless, author Ashley Shelby showed ambition and a readiness to wrestle with profound issues of science, religion, politics and relationships. She is off to a great start as a novelist.
The narrator was good with the different characters' voices.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful