The Seal Wife

by Kathryn Harrison

Read this for its magical and haunting descriptions of the Alaska of 1915; endure the silence of the land and of the woman; become obsessed with the epic attempt to build a kite big enough and strong enough to track the Arctic storms. Just the sort of book for a dark winter's night beside a roaring fire.


Standing on the bluff as the line plays out, peering up into the limitless and empty sky, he feels he can't catch his breath. He sinks to his knees and turns his face from the vastness above him.

Caruso sings, outsings wind scraping over rocks. Bigelow has carried his gramophone up the hill for company, a human voice, loud and triumphant, even if the language isn't one he understands.

But it's not working. Kneeling on the ground, eyes closed, panting as if he's been running, he can't stop himself - he wonders where she is, and why she left him.


The Weatherman by Anthony Cropper
Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Piano - the film

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