Chasing The Light: A Novel of Antarctica

In the early 1930s Antarctic open-sea whaling was booming and a territorial race for the mysterious continent between Norwegian and British–Australian interests was in full swing. But Antarctica was closed to women, in spite of hundreds applying to expeditions (including those of Scott, Mawson and Shackleton).

Determined to learn more about the first women to reach Antarctica, Jesse Blackadder travelled to Norway where she made the exciting discovery that the first woman to reach the Antarctica Peninsula was not an explorer but Ingrid Christensen, a 38-year-old mother who left her six children behind and travelled there on a whaling boat four times in the 1930s.

Based on Ingrid's story, Chasing the Light tells of a sea voyage from Cape Town by the Norwegian whaling magnate Lars Christensen and three women: Lillemor Rachlew, who tricked her way onto 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 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 follow her dream.

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Chasing the Light
Jesse Blackadder 2015