The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina HardingHistorical Fiction/Realistic Fiction
I will start with what I loved about this book. I loved the way it was written. The words are measured and flowing and easy. Reading it was no hardship and the prose seems to just take the reader like a stream carrying a leaf, bobbing along easily. It felt as if this book were written decades ago and reminded me of my favorite classic authors, like Dickens. I loved the subject of whaling and the Arctic and eagerly gobble up any books on this topic. It's such an alien, foreign adventure and I always love to see how people might have survived.
Now, for what I didn't like about this book which, unfortunately, is a longer list. I wanted to read more about Cave's survival in the Arctic winter. While there were a few harrowing descriptions, it wasn't enough for me to understand what he went through and what changed him so profoundly. I also wanted more of a description of Cave's earlier tragedy, for the same reason. I felt this area of the book existed solely in hints rather than enough detail to help me understand his motivations. I also really, really didn't like the paranormal aspect of the book, although it was explained at the end. I felt this cheapened the story and was an unwelcome intrusion on what should have been a quietly moving existence.
Overall, this book was never better than just okay for me. I will say, though, that I thought the author wrote in a masterful way and I will be searching out other books by her.