Minds of Winter

Minds of Winter

Book - 2017
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Longlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Longlisted for the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

It begins with a chance encounter at the top of the world.

Fay Morgan and Nelson Nilsson have each arrived in Inuvik, Canada, about 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Both are in search of answers about a family member: Nelson for his estranged older brother, and Fay for her vanished grandfather. Driving Fay into town from the airport on a freezing January night, Nelson reveals a folder left behind by his brother. An image catches Fay's eye: a clock she has seen before. Soon Fay and Nelson realize that their relatives have an extraordinary and historic connection -- a secret share in one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of polar expedition. This is the riddle of the "Arnold 294" chronometer, which reappeared in Britain more than a hundred years after it was lost in the Arctic with the ships and men of Sir John Franklin's Northwest Passage expedition. The secret history of this elusive timepiece, Fay and Nelson will discover, ties them and their families to a journey that echoes across two centuries.

In a feat of extraordinary scope and ambition, Ed O'Loughlin moves between a frozen present and an ever thawing past. Minds of Winter is a novel about ice and time and their ability to preserve or destroy, of mortality and loss and our dreams of transcending them.

Publisher: [Toronto] : House of Anansi Press Inc., 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781487002343
Branch Call Number: FIC O'Loug
Characteristics: 480 pages : maps ; 23 cm

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e
esheehy
Jul 08, 2017

I really wanted to like this novel, but it turned into a slog through interesting but largely irrelevant historical events that end up contributing little to the narrative arc of the supposedly central characters. The ending is perhaps meant to be surprising, but like so much that precedes it, is irrelevant and leaves the reader as cold as the frozen artic in which it occurs.

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JenRaw
Jun 01, 2017

Read the full review here http://bit.ly/2qFjjRm

Minds of Winter is an ambitious novel that chronicles the effects of the disappearance of the notorious Franklin Expedition above the Arctic circle. It begins from the expedition’s inception in Van Diemen’s Land in 1841 and continues to affect polar explorers right through to present day Inuvik, North West Territories.

It’s quite a feat to cover nearly 200 years of history in a coherent and entertaining way, which is why author Ed O’Loughlin chose to sprinkle the narrative surrounding Franklin’s disappearance in between chapters regarding the protagonists, Nelson Nilsson and Fay Morgan, who are both in search of something for themselves.

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vickiz
Feb 12, 2017

Maybe stories converge at the poles. Like the lines on the map.

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