It is August, 1616. The whaling ship Heartsease has ventured high into the Arctic, but the crew must return home before the ice closes in. All, that is, save Thomas Cave. He makes a wager that he will remain there alone until the next season, though no man has yet been known to have survived a winter this far north. So he is left with provisions, shelter, and a journal - should he not live to tell the tale. As the light recedes, so begins Cave's lonely contest with the realities and the phantasms of the Arctic winter. He is vulnerable to blizzards, avalanches, bears - and his own demons: his fear, his apathy, his superstition and his memory. For in this wilderness that is without human history his own past returns to him: the woman he had loved, the grief that drove him north. Beautiful, strange and haunting, The Solitude of Thomas Cave is an unforgettable first novel.
Georgina Harding is the author of two works of non-fiction: Tranquebar: A Season in South India and In Another Europe. This is her first novel. She lives in London and Colchester, Essex.