Synopses & Reviews
"Sackville drifts seamlessly between past and present in her beautifully written debut, the split story of the last days of fictional 19th-century Arctic explorer Edward Mackley, and a day in the life of his great-great-niece, Julia, and her husband, Simon, a hundred years later. Julia and Simon live in Edward's brother's house, surrounded by artifacts of Edward's life's work. Julia spends her days archiving Edward's collection, reading his diaries, and developing deep attachments to the characters involved in her ancestor's story--particularly his young wife, Emily, whom Julia fashions into a Persephone figure, brave and patient as she awaits Edward's return. While the two couples live vastly different lives, there are glimpses--often funny, sometimes painful--of Julia and Simon's strained marriage tucked into the flowery prose of Emily and Edward's romance, revealing them all to be idealists with the unfortunate luck to grind against reality, none with more force than Edward, whose ship never returns. Sackville is a canny observer and a dry wit who can tease a trace of significance out of even the most mundane corners of domesticity. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
At the turn of the twentieth century, Arctic explorer Edward Mackley sets out to reach the North Pole and vanishes into the icy landscape without a trace. He leaves behind a young wife, Emily, who awaits his return for decades, her dreams and devotion gradually freezing into rigid widowhood.
A hundred years later, on a sweltering mid-summers day, Edwards great-grand-niece Julia moves through the old family house, attempting to impose some order on the clutter of inherited belongings and memories from that ill-fated expedition, and taking care to ignore the deepening cracks within her own marriage. But as afternoon turns into evening, Julia makes a discovery that splinters her long-held image of Edward and Emilys romance.
The Still Point slaloms through past, present, and future, with dreams revealing a universal simultaneity to the choices we must all make in the faces of love and passion. Long-listed for the Orange Prize, The Still Point is a powerful literary debut, masterfully told in the language of the heart.
At the turn of the 20th century, Arctic explorer Edward Mackley sets out to reach the North Pole and vanishes into the icy landscape without a trace. He leaves behind a young wife, Emily, who awaits his return for decades. A hundred years later, Edward's great-grand-niece Julia moves through the old family house, and makes a discovery that splinters her long-held image of Edward and Emily's romance.