The Ice Lovers

Hardback 2009, paperback 2010
Blue sunset, Rothera research base
‘Before I came to the Antarctic I met a woman who told me that the future is like a crystal river. She said that in all our futures some things are already decided…’

Helen, an historian, journeys to a slowly disintegrating Antarctic in search of the story of Nara, a young scientist who disappeared three years before. She is presumed dead, though her body has never been recovered. When an international emergency forces Helen to overwinter in the Antarctic, a more complex story than the official record emerges. Sitting at Nara’s desk, reading her diaries on a snowed in Antarctic base, Helen wonders if the Antarctic will ever give up its secrets.

        The Ice Lovers is a haunting story of ghosts and ice, beauty and obsession, and the terrible consequences of unrequited love.

‘An accomplished novel…McNeil has a sure hand and a deft touch with prose. Like the ice of its subject, the writing in the novel hides great complexities with surface simplicity and clarity.’ The Globe and Mail
‘Whether in her poetry or prose, McNeil never entirely forfeits a sense of humour as she confronts the equivocal sway of fate.’ Books in Canada