Zeke and Erasmus head a 19th Century Arctic expedition to chart new territory, catalog wildlife, and search for traces of a previous expedition whose disappearance is veiled in mystery. Those left at home anxiously await their return with a mixture of awe, fear and envy. Evocative descriptions of the harsh yet undeniable beauty of the Arctic and keenly empathetic portrayals of the characters’ quest for knowledge and struggle for survival make for epic adventure. Finely crafted and yet inspired, The Voyage of the Narwhal is a classic.— Sara, Atlanta
Capturing a crucial moment in the history of exploration--the mid-nineteenth century romance with the Arctic--Andrea Barrett's compelling novel tells the story of a fateful expedition. Through the eyes of the ship's scholar-naturalist, Erasmus Darwin Wells, we encounter the Narwhal's crew, its commander, and the far-north culture of the Esquimaux. In counterpoint, we meet the women left behind in Philadelphia, explorers only in imagination. Together, those who travel and those who stay weave a web of myth and mystery, finally discovering what they had not sought, the secrets of their own hearts.