Soundings

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What to expect

‘A THRILLING, PASSIONATE AND TENDERHEARTED ADVENTURE’ HELEN JUKES, AUTHOR OF A HONEYBEE HEART HAS FIVE OPENINGS

‘WHAT A VOICE! WHAT A BOOK!’ CHARLES FOSTER, AUTHOR OF BEING A HUMAN

‘BEAUTIFUL AND BRAVE, AND STARTLING IN ITS RAW HONESTY’ NEIL ANSELL, AUTHOR OF DEEP COUNTRY

From the lagoons of Mexico to Arctic glaciers, grey whale mothers are swimming with their calves, past predatory orcas, through a warming sea. For ten thousand miles, they endure one of the longest mammalian migrations on the planet. Following them, by bus, train and ferry, are Doreen Cunningham and her young son Max, in pursuit of a wild hope: that their family of two can make it by themselves.

Doreen first visited Utqiagvik, the northernmost town in Alaska, as a young journalist reporting on climate change among indigenous whaling communities. There, she joined the spring whale hunt under the neverending Arctic light, watching for bowhead whales and polar bears, drawn deeply to an Iñupiaq family and their culture amid the disappearing ice.

Years later, plunged into sudden poverty and isolation after becoming a single parent, Doreen embarks on an extraordinary journey: following the grey whale migration all the way north to the Iñupiaq family that took her in, where grey and bowhead whales meet at the melting apex of our planet.

Soundings is the story of a woman reclaiming her life, mile by mile; a child growing to love an ocean that is profoundly endangered; and a mother learning from another species how to parent in a time of unprecedented change. Intrepid, brave and breathtaking, her travels will take you to the ends of the earth, alongside the whales that call it home.

‘STUNNING: FRESH, BRAVE AND UNIQUE’ DAMIAN LE BAS, AUTHOR OF THE STOPPING PLACES

‘A BOOK TO BE DEVOURED’ RAMITA NAVAI, AUTHOR OF CITY OF LIES

‘COMPLETELY UNIQUE AND UNFORGETTABLE’ ERICA WAGNER

‘INTIMATE AND FASCINATING’ MARK BOYLE, AUTHOR OF THE WAY HOME

‘BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND GRIPPING’ DANIEL LAVELLE, AUTHOR OF DOWN AND OUT

‘FASCINATING: AN INTIMATE JOURNEY THROUGH A WORLD ALREADY ALTERED BY CLIMATE CHANGE’ SJON, AUTHOR OF THE WHISPERING MUSE

Critics Review

  • Doreen’s is a thrilling, passionate and tenderhearted adventure. I read this book in one sitting, and couldn’t sleep that night – my mind was still filled with her extraordinary endurance, her wild spirit.

    Helen Jukes, author of A Honeybee Heart has Five Openings
  • What a voice! What a book! Pounding with the power of thrashing flukes, shivering with Arctic ice, yet suffused with rare human warmth. A book worthy of its mighty subjects.

    Charles Foster, author of Being a Human
  • Beautiful and brave, and startling in its raw emotional honesty.

    Neil Ansell, author of Deep Country and The Circling Sky
  • This stunning book blends nature writing of the most urgent kind with precise and poetic observation of human tribulation and the interconnectedness of all things. Fresh, brave and unique

    Damian le Bas, author of The Stopping Places
  • Soundings stuns with its bravery and lyricism. This is a book to be devoured.

    Ramita Navai, author of City of Lies
  • Cunningham’s scientific knowledge and gorgeous prose take us on an extraordinary journey as she forges a remarkable connection with these astonishing creatures and issues an impassioned plea for our shared futures. Soundings is a completely unique, unforgettable book.

    Erica Wagner

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