Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alone in Antarctica

Alone in Antarctica
Felicity Aston

Alone in Antarctica

Genre: Memoir

Summary (from Goodreads): In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information.

Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman -- and only the third person in history – to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. She did it, too, with the simple apparatus of cross-country, without the aids used by her prededecessors – two Norwegian men – each of whom employed either parasails or kites.

Aston’s journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement.

Like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Felicity Aston’s Alone in Antarctica becomes an inspirational saga of one woman’s battle through fear and loneliness as she honestly confronts both the physical challenges of her adventure, as well as her own human vulnerabilities.

Marcie's Review:  This woman's journey across Antarctica was fascinating to me; mostly because of the descriptions of the unimaginably strange and beautiful landscape, but also because of the bravery and humility Felicity showed as she strove to become the first woman to ski across Antarctica on her own.  I think she's a little bit crazy for attempting such a dangerous stunt, but I definitely admire her physical strength and the strength of character it took to keep going when facing the formidable unknown.

Marcie's Rating: 4 stars

Becky's Review:  There was something in this book that did not capture my interest for long.  I found this book a little dull and easy to put down.  I often found myself putting the book down to look something up online about Antarctica that she was talking about.  I thought there would be more adventure and maybe a little drama in this book but there really wasn't much which is a good thing for Aston!  I admire her for being able to go off alone and take on such a difficult task.  She honestly shared her struggles and emotions throughout the journey.  I do wish that she would have included map of where she went and the landforms that she was talking about.

Becky's Rating: 3 stars

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