In a chilly dawn in 1912, a fisherman finds a beautiful infant floating on an ice floe in the North Atlantic. This is her story. The inhabitants of the fishing village believe she is a changeling. But it is only many years later, after marriage and motherhood, that the mystery of her origins is solved.
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Joan Clark is the author of two previous novels and a story collection. She lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
In this meandering tale of an extraordinary woman's life, Clark (Eriksdottir; Swimming Toward the Light) strives to give everyday existence a magical aura, with mixed results. The novel opens with a fantastic conceit: a baby in a basket on a piece of ice survives the sinking of the Titanic and is discovered by a kindly Newfoundland fisherman, Francis St. Croix. He dubs her Aurora because she is found "in a gleaming dawn," and she becomes part of the St. Croix family. Aurora is a delightfully quirky child, who seems to embody the unusual circumstances of her incredible journey. She has white hair, is never cold, gambols barefoot where others hesitate to tread, loves nature and has a special affinity for animals. The small community in the valley of the Drook, where the St. Croix family lives, looks upon her as of another world. Even Tom Mulloy, the man she comes to marry, sees her as "a fairy maid." The book shifts from Aurora's story to that of her children: Nancy, a headstrong woman who wants to be everything her mother isn't, and Stanley, a late bloomer who overcomes personal tragedy and retains his mother's passion for exploration, becoming a deep-sea-diving expert on ice. It is Nancy's daughter, Sheila, who unravels Aurora's mysterious past and links her to a family that set out on the Titanic for a new life in America. Clark captures the stark magnificence of Newfoundland and portrays a changing world as technology and civilization make indelible marks on a fading seafaring era. Labored prose and overdetailed storytelling weigh down the tale, but Aurora's story will please those with an interest in northerly lands and Titanic mythmaking.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Knopf, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0676972888
Book Description Knopf, Toronto, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110676972888
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97806769728871.0