Samantha SoRelle's Reviews > A Land So Wild

A Land So Wild by Elyssa Warkentin
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it was amazing

(Crossposted to Amazon)

Okay, let me start by saying that this book is so good, my review is not going to be able to do it justice. Stop reading this review now and go download the sample immediately.

While you're waiting for it to download, let me just say, in a fortunate reader's life, you occasionally stumble across a book that fits all your interests at that moment, that just clicks with who you are at a certain point in time. For me, this book was like that, but for my entire life. When I was in third grade I bought the book "Buried in Ice" about the Franklin Expedition from the Scholastic book fair, and have been obsessed with tales of polar exploration ever since. I have read possibly every non-fiction book about every expedition ever written, I was overwhelmed when meeting the grandson of a man who voyaged with Shackleton, I cried with joy when they finally located the Erebus, then did it again when the Terror was found.

I tell you all this for context, because I want you to understand that when I say that this book, fiction though it may be, perfectly captures the emotion, excitement, and adventure of a real arctic expedition, I want you to know I mean it. The level of research and love put into this book is phenomenal, but never feels forced, or like the autor is trying to show off. Rather, it builds on the details of the world until you can almost hear the wind in the rigging, or the cracking of the ice.

I was wary at first of the epistolary style, because I have seen it used poorly by lesser authors, but instead it makes you feel like you're there, reading over the characters' shoulders. It also provides some delightful moments when the reliability of a narrator or account can called into question. What I loved most about this format though, is the way in which it was used to weave in accounts of the people usually overlooked in discovery literature--both the women left behind, and the native people whose land is being "discovered". Warkentin is especially deft in her handling of the Inuit perspective and storytelling especially in the moments where their stories overlapped with the English accounts.

"But what about the romance?" I hear you asking. I will say that if you're looking for something explicit and steamy, this may not be the book for you, but if you are looking for a natural, heart-wrenchingly beautiful and realistic romance to slowly bloom between two men who are as fascinating, flawed and REAL as you could ever hope to find... then the sample should be downloaded by now. Start reading.

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Reading Progress

February 27, 2019 – Started Reading
February 28, 2019 – Shelved
February 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

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