Philip Womack

Breaking the Ice



Fig Tree 295pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Depression can be an entirely isolating condition. It was explored with ironic detachment in Rebecca Hunt’s debut, Mr Chartwell, which saw Winston Churchill’s ‘black dog’ take on monstrous, real form. In her second novel, Hunt scrutinises the consequences of stark, physical isolation as two groups of explorers and scientists, a hundred years apart, are confined to the icy limits of an Antarctic island, the titular Everland: abode of penguins and seals, and the scene of psychologically and biologically demanding travails for the humans who dare to enter. Take the second star to the right, and you won’t end up here.

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