Minds of Winter

Minds of Winter looks at the mystery surrounding Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition.

Ed O'Loughlin

It begins with a chance encounter at the top of the world — Fay Morgan and Nelson Nilsson have each arrived in Inuvik, Canada, about 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Both are in search of answers about a family member: Nelson for his estranged older brother, and Fay for her vanished grandfather. Driving Fay into town from the airport on a freezing January night, Nelson reveals a folder left behind by his brother.

An image catches Fay's eye: a clock she has seen before. Soon Fay and Nelson realize that their relatives have an extraordinary and historic connection — a secret share in one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of polar expedition. This is the riddle of the "Arnold 294" chronometer, which reappeared in Britain more than a hundred years after it was lost in the Arctic with the ships and men of Sir John Franklin's Northwest Passage expedition. The secret history of this elusive timepiece, Fay and Nelson will discover, ties them and their families to a journey that echoes across two centuries. (From Quercus/House of Anansi Press)

From the book

It had been intended that they would take the carriage all the way to the ball, but the evening was so mild that Sir John gave in to Sophia's pleading to finish the journey on foot. These are the lieutenant-governor's botanical gardens, Sir John reasoned; I am the lieutenant-governor: why must I take a carriage to the end of my own garden?

So the party alighted at the magnetic observatory, that curious new wooden building crowning the hill, and — defying convention — old Sir John Franklin, viceroy of Van Dieman's Land and famed Arctic

From Minds of Winter by Ed O'Loughlin ©2017. Published by Quercus/House of Anansi Press​.