Finished my first book of the year, and as expected it is another travel book. This time through the infamous and dangerous northwest passage.
Kathleen was a last minute addition to a predominantly tourist trip through the icy waters of the Arctic. The boat is mainly full of geologists and bird watchers, along with knowledgeable experts. A writer was also required, so grabbing whatever gear she could find she jumped at the chance.
The ‘cruise’ begins in Greenland before crossing Baffin Bay and dropping into various small inuit settlements. As with many natives, their treatment at the hands of settlers has been very poor. The Canadian government moved whole villages to other areas, hoping to end disputes with Denmark and Russia over land. As expected this didn’t end well for the natives as they didn’t know the area, where the good hunting grounds were or the means to survive.
The book also delves into Kathleen’s background and how she moved to Newfoundland as a child with her family from the north east of England.
I really enjoyed this book, with it’s mix of history, from both the native inuits and the visiting expeditions, along with the voyage that Kathleen was part of. The ending is unexpected, but if you like your travel writing with a bit more intelligence and history, you’ll love this book.