In 1934, the Austrian painter Christiane Ritter travels to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen to spend a year with her husband, an explorer and researcher. They are to live in a tiny ramshackle hut on the shores of a lonely fjord, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement.
At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape the lack of equipment and supplies… But as time passes, after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic’s harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a great sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life.
This rediscovered classic memoir tells the incredible tale of a woman defying society’s expectations to find freedom and peace in the adventure of a lifetime.
A Woman In The Polar Night is a fascinating memoir, one woman against and with nature, in an extremely inhospitable landscape takes a journey of self discovery. Her writing is present and insightfully real and I was completely immersed throughout.
I can’t imagine doing this myself- I love my home comforts way too much- although Christiane also didn’t expect just how harsh this life may be, she came to embrace it and we, the reader, get to go on that journey too .
The descriptive sense of this is simply wonderful, every nuance of the good and the bad is in here and you can see, sense and feel the chilly arctic through the words the author uses.
I loved it. It made me think about things bigger than myself, as indeed living through it gave Cristiane Ritter food for thought, I highly recommend it if you want knowledge of experiences you’ll likely never have during a time we won’t see again. Chilly and warming all at the same time.
Happy Reading !