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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by the story of Svalbard’s first female trapper, Cold Coast is a gripping portrayal of survival within the stark beauty and perilous wilderness of the high Arctic.

In 1932, Wanny Woldstad, a young widow, travels to Svalbard, daring to enter the Norwegian trappers’ fiercely guarded male domain. She must prove to Anders Sæterdal, her trapping partner who makes no secret of his disdain, that a woman is fit for the task. Over the course of a Svalbard winter, Wanny and Anders will confront polar bears, traverse glaciers, withstand blizzards and the dangers of sea ice, and hike miles to trap Arctic fox, all in the frigid darkness of the four-month polar night. For Wanny, the darkness hides her own deceptions that, if exposed, speak to the untenable sacrifice of a 1930s woman longing to fulfil a dream.

Alongside the raw, confronting nature of the trappers’ work, is the story of a young blue Arctic fox, itself a hunter, who must eke out a living and navigate the trappers’ world if it is to survive its first Arctic winter.

©2021 Robyn Mundy (P)2021 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Cold Coast summons the raw beauty of Svalbard with achingly evocative prose. At once visceral and lyrical, I was totally absorbed in the story of Wanny Woldstad and her yearning for wilder freedoms." (Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites)

"Rarely has a book been so evocative of time and place. At once transporting and unsentimental, Cold Coast is as bracing as the arctic winds that sweep through its world. Its truths about love, endurance, and courage are visceral and above all exhilarating, even as death hovers unsettlingly near." (Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek)

"An exquisitely written, immersive novel about wildness, survival, and the incomparable exhilaration of choosing a bigger life. I was captivated from start to finish." (Emily Maguire, author of An Isolated Incident and Love Objects)

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  • Jane Williams
  • 02-12-22

Interesting and atmospheric

This book was a slow burn. Interesting for it's feminist slant, gorgeous descriptions of scenery that take you 'there' and I felt that I learned something about hunting in the frigid expanses. I wasn't enthralled but was happy to listen to the end, it was a comforting read. I was hoping I could give it more than a score of 3, alas not. Maybe my expectations were too high?