Join BLT (Books and Lunch on Tuesdays), Howe Library's book group. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at noon.  Bring your lunch and a healthy appetite for good discussion.

Tuesday, March 13th
The North Water

by Ian McGuire


When Patrick Sumner returns to England from India, after serving as an army surgeon in the Sepoy Rebellion (1857-58), he finds himself with few options, having been expunged from the service. Lacking other prospects, he signs on as ship surgeon for a whaling expedition onboard the Volunteer. The rough accommodations aren't any worse than those he suffered in India, and the crew's minor injuries are easy work compared to tending battle-mangled soldiers. But when he treats a cabin boy displaying evidence of horrific abuse, Sumner hunts the predator onboard, even after it costs the cabin boy his life. Henry Drax is popular and unmatched when it comes to harpooning, but he's miscalculated his power and put too much faith in his shipmates' apathy. Sumner uses his medical knowledge and a dose of forensics to accuse Drax as the ship navigates the Arctic Sea dangerously close to winter, and a disaster leaves them fighting nature and each other for survival. McGuire's tale is every bit as raw, suspenseful, and brutal as befits a Victorian whaling expedition with a psychopathic killer. But like Stef Penney's The Tenderness of Wolves (2006) and Dan Simmons' Drood (2009), there is plenty of literary heft in this novel's thoughtfully developed characters, absorbing period details, and detailed renderings of dangerously beautiful settings.

-Booklist starred review.

NPR's Maureen Corrigan reviews The North Water:

Up next in April:
The Wangs vs. The World
by Jade Chang


Where: Howe Library
Room: Rotary Room
Time: 12:00 - 1:00