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This is a complex book, set in the time of exploration of the North Pole at the end of 19th century.
It deals with multiple issues – exploitation of the Inuit (first people); the role of women; obsession and the corrupting desire of ambition.
It is a fascinating portrayal of a specific time and place, but one that would be suited to senior readers due to some content.
This book caused some controversy in it’s home country on publication and featured in Banned Book week this year.
It follows the unsuspecting ‘grooming’ of Aleksandra, by an older and confident young man.
The novel deals with the a pretty dark and seedy side of life, but one that is all too real. We don’t often hear a lot about it here in NZ, but not in Europe where the novel is set.
Aleks is naiive, awkward and totally unworldly – a prime target for Megan, her ‘new friend’ who finds girls for the ‘boyfriends’ to exploit and control. Victim blaming plays a large role too.
Definitely for a mature teen reader – and maybe parents out there too.