Landfalls

Landfalls

Book - 2015
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Long-listed for the NBCC's John Leonard Prize

The gripping story of a dramatic eighteenth-century voyage of discovery from Naomi J. Williams

In her wildly inventive debut novel, Naomi J. Williams reimagines the historical Lap#65533;rouse expedition, a voyage of exploration that left Brest in 1785 with two frigates, more than two hundred men, and overblown Enlightenment ideals and expectations, in a brave attempt to circumnavigate the globe for science and the glory of France.

Deeply grounded in historical fact but refracted through a powerful imagination, Landfalls follows the exploits and heartbreaks not only of the men on the ships but also of the people affected by the voyage-indigenous people and other Europeans the explorers encountered, loved ones left waiting at home, and those who survived and remembered the expedition later. Each chapter is told from a different point of view and is set in a different part of the world, ranging from London to Tenerife, from Alaska to remote South Pacific islands to Siberia, and eventually back to France. Theresult is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of the high seas, scientific exploration, human tragedy, and the world on the cusp of the modern era.

By turns elegiac, profound, and comic, Landfalls reinvents the maritime adventure novel for the twenty-first century.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374183158
Characteristics: 315 pages ; 24 cm

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lovemybranch
Apr 29, 2016

The prose style turned me off. It did seem fairly authentic to the period but it managed to make everything very distant and detached. I didn't read very far and that's unusual for me.

e
ebotsikos
Sep 24, 2015

Loved this book! The author uses each chapter to tell the story of this ill fated expedition from different perspectives. Sometimes it's the captain, sometime the doctor, sometimes a common sailor and once from the perspective of an aboriginal girl. This way you experience the same event in several ways and get to know the people more intimately. Consequently when of them dies, you are affected. I was sad when the book finished and the characters continued to reverberate for some time. This is a well written work as much history as fiction. I heartily recommend it.

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