About the Book:
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 Sæterdal 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.
Published by Ultimo Press
Released 27th October 2021
As beautiful as it is brutal, Cold Coast is a magnificently wrought representation of life in the Arctic and the work of a fur trapper in the 1930s. The starkness and danger of the Arctic is brought to life, not just through the experiences of the trappers, but also through the darting and hunting of a little blue fox, who we meet as a kit, the runt of her litter, yet by far the most determined to survive. Each chapter of this novel alternates between the trappers and Little Blue, offering the reader a multifaceted story of Arctic survival and unlimited courage. A thought-provoking portrayal of female agency in the 1930s and a quietly unfolding love story, there is so much to Cold Coast, far more than I initially expected. Highly recommended.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.