I hadn’t read anything engaging for ages—a hot, barren feeling. But when I read the first chapter of The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, it was like diving into an icy pool: exciting, shocking, and frightening all at once. I wanted to splash around Sym’s cold world forever, explore the murky depths of Titus’s history, and break through the frosty wall that stopped me from joining Sym on her Antarctic expedition. But then reality pulled me from the pool.
The White Darkness tells the story of thirteen-year-old Symone “Sym” Wates. When she is taken to Paris with her uncle Victor, he whisks her off on a risky visit to Antarctica. Accompanied by her imaginary friend, Titus, Sym explores one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Mystery surrounds her as she fights through the unforgiving snows.
Titus, Sym’s sarcastic, pessimistic companion, is based on a real person: Captain Lawrence “Titus” Oakes. As a young man, Titus fought in the British militia. On the first of November, 1911, he departed on an expedition to the South Pole. In the bitter weather, however, his persistent ill health got the better of him—slowing his friends and himself down. In an act of martyrdom, he took a “walk” outside in a full-blown blizzard: sure death. He was never seen again.
Uncle Victor is a bizarre, quirky man who is fascinating to examine. Victor had abused Sym since her father died: twisting her ideas, causing her to feel insecure, and making her entirely dependent on him. She believed his forced ideas, and thus her ill-fated faith in him was established—a faith hard to break. But as she realized the truth about her uncle, she slowly began to break free.
The White Darkness is a chilling book, full of betrayal, determination, and snow (of course). It is exciting, shocking, and frightening, a deep pool of frosty-white darkness . . .
You can buy this book here.