In August 1930, a Norwegian ship moored at a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. Ashore, crew members found a body which turned out to be that of Sven Andree, a Swede, who in 1897 tried to reach the North Pole by helium balloon with two comrades. They also found other human remains, artefacts and also found a diary.
The diary proved to be that of Andrée so they were able to finally reconstruct the events leading up to and after the launch.
1897: As explorers and scientists scramble to conquer the North Pole, Sven Andree with fellow explorers Nils Strindberg and Knut Frankel, takes up the challenge. Setting flight in the hydrogen balloon, Nils leaves his fiancee Anna and his brother Erik behind in Stockholm anxiously hoping for his return. Anna and Erik develop an interest in one another giving each some unease given that Nils is out in the wild somewhere, braving the elements.
33 yrs later the journalist, Stubbendorf, who found the remains now sets out to find Anna and/or Eric but they don’t want to be found. He uncovers lost loves, deceit and long-buried secrets, and discovers a story that has stayed hidden for decades and the people who have been concealing it.
The story of the attempted crossing to the pole is described in The Ice Balloon by Alec Wilkinson. Jenny North refers to it in her bibliography. It presents a non-fiction account of polar exploration at the time, setting the scene in which the balloon attempt took place. It makes fascinating complementary reading.
Both are in stock now.