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My Last Continent

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,054 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
An unforgettable debut with an irresistible love story, "My Last Continent" is a big-hearted, propulsive novel set against the dramatic Antarctic landscape original and entirely authentic love story (Graeme Simsion, author of "The Rosie Project").
It is only at the end of the world among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica where Deb Ga
...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Scribner
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Popular Answered Questions
CCtheBrave Sorry, Pat,
But I haven't published a book yet, perhaps it's another Christina Butcher. Hopefully next year I'll have one in the works!
MoreThanThis Veganism isn't a central theme; however, there is discussion about sustainability of food sources and the two main characters are vegans.

Community Reviews

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Elyse
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Geeeeeezzzzzz......I hate it...I love it....I hate it.... I love it....
.....damn it....I cried twice in two very specific places....
I could not put this book down... I'm shaking having just finished it....exhausted with tears in my eyes.....
I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone!!!

"One thing the animal kingdom had not yet taught me is that hope is more punishing than grief." - wow -

"One winter, I watched an Adelie penguin minding her nest during an unexpected
snowstorm. Soon covered with snow
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Jen
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Antarctic. A place to run to in order to find yourself or a place to hide from oneself.
Deb Gardner is a naturalist studying Penguins in the deep freeze of the southern hemisphere. Here she feels most in her comfort zone among the beautiful animals she studies respecting the nature and the behaviour of animals because they do not cause intentional harm the same way humans do. Yet, love has a way of reaching even the most remote parts of the earth. As does heartache.

The structure of the story
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Diane S ☔
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 I have such a huge fascination for the Antarctic continent, a place I will never visit. Plus, love reading novels set in cold climates when it is so blasted hot out.

Wonderfully descriptive writing, the cold, the ice, the glaciers, and the wonderful penguins. A love story between Deb and Keller, but it is so blended with the setting that their love for each other is entwined with their love of the Antarctic. Loved all the environmental warnings, what the changes of global warning and more tou
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Jennifer
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
"One thing the animal kingdom had not yet taught me is that hope is more punishing than grief.

We don't know much about animals' capacity for hope. We do know that they grieve, that they are joyful and playful and mischievous and clever. We've seen animals work together toward a common goal, and we've seen them use tools to get what they want. Despite what many believe, they are not so different from us."


Deb Gardner would much rather spend time with penguins than with people. Her job as a resear
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
This book was one that I eagerly waited to read. I fell in love with the cover and the blurb and was really looking forward to reading a love story set in Antarctica. And, the book was good, just not that fantastic good I had hoped for. It took some time for me to get into the story and all the flashbacks that told the reader about how Deb and Keller met were not always that interesting to read about, not since the present story was more interesting. Sure, with the flashbacks we learned how they ...more
Jill
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it


The end of the world, the beginning of everything.

Deb Gardner likes solitude and science. Studying the penguin populations in Antarctica suits her perfectly. Keller Sullivan, former lawyer, first comes to the Antarctic research station as a dishwasher in the maintenance crew, before going back to college studying ecology and graduating as a naturalist. For a number of years this is how Deb and Keller maintain their relationship over a few months each year on the ice continent.

One year Keller fai
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Cheri

I did not want to put this book down. I found myself picking up the book again, just to read just a little more, just a few more pages… I was mesmerized from the start. Beautifully written, a story that hooks you from the very beginning.

While you know some facts from the start, that there will be a disaster that takes place unexpectedly, it takes away nothing from this lovely debut novel by Midge Raymond.

Deb Gardner has been going to Antarctica for years, at first for her love for the penguins
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
"As every Antarctic traveler knows, once you being to fear the ice, the relationship changes forever."

From the beginning of this novel, you know that there will be a ship that sinks near Antarctica. The narrator, Deb, is an ornithologist specializing in Adélie penguins, who spends several months a year tracing penguin migration, counting numbers of chicks and survivors, etc. In between research tasks she gives tours and talks to tourists who have come to the end of the earth.

Along the way, she f
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Julie Christine
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This first novel by short-story author, essayist and publisher Midge Raymond chills with deftly foreshadowed doom and warms with slow-burning passion.

Deb Gardner, a biologist who prefers polar isolation and penguins to warmer climes and the company of humans, spends part of the year at a research station in Antarctica, studying effects of climate change and other human intrusions on penguin habitat. Ironically, it is ecotourism that affords her the opportunity to study her beloved flightless fow
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Dana
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Wow talk about an atmospheric book! I read this book in the summer and still felt the icy chill of the Antarctic whistle through the pages. Very impressive writing. This book is a love story, not just between Deb and Keller, but also Deb and the Antarctic. Both of which are unpredictable and capricious.

Couldn't put this book down, as is often the case with books that I love I find it difficult to write a decent review. My mind is still reeling from this emotional rollercoaster of a book. Maybe
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Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
I can't escape first person present tense. It's invading every genre. It's everywhere. Resistance is futile.

I love reading Antarctica books, but I didn't enjoy this. While the descriptions of the continent, though too few and far between, were accurate, there was very little else to recommend this novel in my opinion. Everything aside from the Antarctica bits were boring. So boring. The love story, the parts where Deb goes home, her life up until the present... BORING.

The writing did not flow at
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Myrna
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
My Last Continent has a little romance, a sinking ship and a loving homage to Antarctica and penguin studies. The novel also jumps back and forth in time, has great characters and is very heart-wrenching. Overall an original, interesting story done in a nice, refreshing way. I look forward to reading more of her future novels.
Book of Secrets
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad! Beautiful! MY LAST CONTINENT is a story about love and loss, about running away only to find yourself in a remote land of ice. I'm almost certain that reading this book will be the closest I get to Antarctica, and I appreciated the author's gorgeous descriptions.

There are three main characters in this book: Deb, an ornithologist who studies penguins; Keller, a former Boston lawyer who heads to Antarctica as a dishwasher; and the continent itself, who brings Deb and Keller together and come
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Carlos
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Actually 3.5 stars. The premise of the book, the background (Antarctica), and the minor characters all work perfect in this book, but I was not convinced by the main plot of the book, I thought it was too easy to decipher what the ending would be , another thing that I did not like were all the flashbacks that the book relied on , while it was ok at the beginning I don't see how they helped the main story move along , instead I think the author should have spent more time taking advantage of Ant ...more
 Megan • Reading Books Like a Boss (book blog)


Audiobook Comments Included

Midge Raymond's debut, My Last Continent, is an ode to Antarctica with a unique and emotional love story. Raymond's rich and descriptive narrative, while at times overly used, takes readers on a harrowing journey to a land rarely traveled.

Deb has dedicated her life to research and studying the colonies of penguins in Antarctica. For the last several years, she has spent part of her year working for the Antarctic Penguin Project. While in the Southern Hemisphere, she s
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Marianne
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The tent is tight and cramped, not unlike our individual sleeping quarters on the Cormorant – but now, rather than the hum of the ship, we hear the sounds of penguins and waves lapping the bay; rather than the dry heated air, the night is alive with a gelid summer mist”

My Last Continent is the first novel by American author, Midge Raymond. Deb Gardner is a naturalist who studies penguins. Some thirteen years after she first went to Antarctica as part of the Antarctic Penguin Project, she is wit
...more
Kathleen
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"My Last Continent feels refreshingly different, vivid, and immediate. Midge Raymond has an extraordinary gift for description that puts the reader bang in the middle of the action, bang in the middle of its dangerous and endangered world. Her clean spare prose pulls us irresistibly into the story and the wider issues it raises. She is clearly a writer in command of her craft." - M. L. STEDMAN, author of The Light Between Oceans

"An unforgettable debut with an irresistible love story, MY LAST CON
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Cher
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

Set primarily in Antarctica, the imagery and descriptions are vivid and create a wonderful escapist atmosphere. However, there is an extremely heavy handed focus on a romance, and it is unfortunately a tepid and forgettable one. Had the novel focused more on the environmental issues or generalized drama instead of a dispassionate cliché relationship, it would have been far more enjoyable. I would be interested in reading nonfiction by this author should she ever write such
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Laura
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Did you know that killer whales aren't actually whales (they're dolphins), or that a healthy penguin’s poo is pink, or that the driest desert on earth is in Antarctica?

This book taught me A LOT about Antarctica. It's two things at once: a lyrical, intense love letter to Antarctica and a slightly less convincing love story.

The main character, Deb, is a researcher who travels around the continent counting penguins, sometimes living with the colonies for weeks at a time. She loves Antarctica passio
...more
Mike W
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Deb Gardner has preferred the company of penguins to people for most of her adult life. She spends as much time as nature and her funding allow, at least several weeks per year, in Antarctica, researching and counting penguins and tolerating the relatively few other humans with whom she is forced to interact. While her research is funded, her travel relies on sharing space and job duties on board a small ship that caters to wealthy passengers wanting to see Antarctica for various reasons. While ...more
Phyllis
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great debut novel for this author. The descriptions of the environment in Antarctica had me wrapped up in a blanket at times. Deb Gardner travels to Antarctica every "summer" for her research on the different types of penguins and also the effects of humans (both researches and tourists) on the environment. It is there she meets Keller and falls in love. This is not a sappy love story but an unfolding of cautious love. The book travels back and forth in time and works well for this book. I loved ...more
Rosie
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book and loved everything about it. It was beautifully written and I felt like I had been to Antarctica after reading it. I learned a lot about the continent and the wildlife there and how destructive tourism can be. I also loved the cover, which is what attracted me to the book in the first place. I laughed and I cried. Highly recommend.
Lynn
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Antarctica facts are intertwined over and under and up and through the love story of Deb and Keller. Deb grew up loving birds, and, during college, is pushed to a research assistantship in Antarctica. Keller wanted to go to Antarctica, but found the only way was to sign on as a dishwasher; so he did.

Throughout this wonderful, sparkling DEBUT novel, Deb and Keller's love for each other and love for the penguins they study is nothing short of overwhelming. A stunner to read.

I read this DARC cour
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Blaine DeSantis
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! A book that actually begins with an Afterwards, and then weaves a tale that goes back and forth through Antarctica, as well as the lives of the narrator Deb and a man she meets there, named Keller. It is a love story and an ecological story, as well as a an adventure story about a cruise ship that ventures into the realm of Antartica. I am not really a big ecology-oriented person, but this story really hit me as a wakeup call for all of those people who feel the need ...more
Tara
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel expands on my favorite story in Raymond's collection, Forgetting English: Stories. The old adage write what you know comes into play here, as Raymond has indeed been to the Last Continent and studied penguins. The almost surreal landscape is as much a character as is the narrator Deb Gardner, who studies emperor and Adelie penguins. The plot literally propels us forward to an impending shipwreck, which is riveting and tragic all at once.

Layering the novel is a realistic love story tha
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Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Love & Loss at the End of the World....

Words really can't express how much I enjoyed this book! It was a wonderful story about love, loss, grief and finding your way in life. It was such a beautiful but heart-wrenching story. All of the characters were so well-developed that you couldn't help but become attached to them and their outcome. I loved learning about the continent of Antarctica and also about the penguins and their plight. The imagery and the atmosphere that the author evoked was
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Laurie Notaro
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Flawlessly written, gorgeous structure and the science that went into this book is nothing short of amazing. Midge Raymond at once gives us a delightful inside look at the penguins of Antartica--which in itself is spellbinding--and then adds layer of deep character profiles, a horrible tragedy and a love story that is real without being sentimental and sappy. A beautiful, beautiful book, I loved it.
Kelsi H
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Please check out all of my reviews at http://ultraviolentlit.blogspot.ca!

My Last Continent is a beautiful, unusual love story – the love between a woman and a man, but also the love of both for the continent of Antarctica. Deb and Keller meet there, and it is where their love grows, as they observe penguin colonies and shifting icebergs. They find it easy to love while in the isolation of a snowstorm – but it is not so easy to survive as a couple in the real world. Like the penguins they study w
...more
Nancy
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was World Penguin Day when I started reading My Last Continent by Midge Raymond. I had not realized how perfectly timed my choice was. Raymond's novel is a love story, the love between star crossed lovers and their mutual love of penguins and the Antarctic.

from the author's blog

Deb and Keller are penguin researchers whose love affair flourishes only during their brief weeks together in Antarctica. Their off-season work is on opposites sides of the county, Driven by their need to make a differ
...more
Jennifer
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-books
3 -stars, if we could.

this was quite the atmospheric read! the antarctic setting is a prominent character unto itself, and i loved that (something i, generally, favour in my fiction - setting as a character). the novel felt helpfully informative around the issues of ecotourism and penguins, though at moments the story did teeter a bit too much into feeling like a screed. (and this coming from someone who took environmental studies at university, so...) i mean, i get it - there are such important
...more
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Around the Year i...: My Last Continent, by Midge Raymond 1 6 May 17, 2018 01:41PM  
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97 followers
Midge Raymond is the author of the novel My Last Continent and a short-story collection, Forgetting English, which received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, North American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, Poets & Writers, and many other publications.

Midge is also the author of Everyday Wr
...more
More about Midge Raymond

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