The Nature Of ice by Robyn Mundy
Hearts In ice!
Freya Jorgensen is on her way to Antarctica. She has obtained a grant to produce a photographic expedition of Antarctica, incorporating not only her own pictures that she will take while there, but also the pictures taken by her 'hero' Frank Hurley, a photographer on one of the first expeditions to Antarctica.
But this story is not Freya's alone, as Freya is forced to share her time and her experiences in Antarctica with Chad McGonigal. And it is their story together that allows Freya to explore the intriguing and mysterious landscape of Antarctica while exploring her own nature. Out on the ice, in a harsh and revealing land, Freya is forced to see herself as she truly is, a side of her that has been hidden deep within her.
This story also mixes history with the present. Freya is not the only one to find a true understanding her own nature, and the importance of love reflected in the ice. Douglas Mawson, who explored the Antarctic about a hundred years before Freya steps foot there, also learns the revealing and raw nature of ice.
The story of Douglas and his men, including the photographer Frank Hurly, and his relationship with them and those he has left back home, his fiance Paquita, is interwoven throughout Freya's story highlighting the impact the Antarctic has had on the human spirit and undying belief in love.
The Nature Of ice is a story well worth reading. As it chops and changes from the past to the present, it offers an interesting and touching perspective on friendship, hope and love, and the nature of ice which is as strong and fragile as the enduring nature of the human spirit. Although slow to get into, due to the constant chopping and changing from the past to the present and between present characters, it would not be as deep a story without the connection with the past. However, I think it would have been a bit better had it focused more on the single present character of Freya.
Robyn Mundy @ Allen & UnwinPrice (AU): $26.99
On sale: 01 September 2009
Recommended age: 18+
In a word: Ice
Re-read it: possibly
Star rating: three out of five