Chasing the Light
A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. It's the early 1930s. Antarctic open-sea whaling is booming and a territorial race for the mysterious continent between Norwegian and British-Australian interests is in full swing. Aboard a ship setting sail from Cape Town carrying the Norwegian whaling magnate Lars Christensen are three women: Lillemor Rachlew, who tricked her way on to the ship and will stop at nothing to be the first woman to land on Antarctica; Mathilde Wegger, a grieving widow who's been forced to join the trip by her calculating parents-in-law; and Lars's wife, Ingrid Christensen, who has longed to travel to Antarctica since she was a girl and has made a daunting bargain with Lars to convince him to take her. Loyalties shift and melt and conflicts increase as they pass through the Southern Ocean and reach the whaling grounds. None of the women is prepared for the reality of meeting the whaling fleet and experiencing firsthand the brutality of the icy world. As they head for the continent itself, the race is on for the first woman to land on Antarctica. None of them expect the outcome and none of them know how they will be changed by their arrival. Based on the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, Jesse Blackadder has captured the drama, danger and magnetic pull of exploring uncharted places in our world and our minds.
Jesse Blackadder is the author of The Raven's Heart.