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When Nights Were Cold

Summary When Nights Were Cold

As ueen Victoria's reign reaches its end Grace Farringdon dreams of polar explorations and of escape from her I was intrigued by the idea of a novel about Edwardian lady mountaineers and I was even intrigued when I placed the name of the author Because I recalled that Susanna Jones specialises in dark storytelling unreliable narrators and psychological drama I hoped that When Nights Were Cold would be something rather special and it very nearly was When Grace Farringdon was growing up she and her father followed the polar explorations of Ernest Shackleton and his contemporaries studying every detail they could find It was only supposed to be a diversion for a little girl; Grace and her sister were expected to grow up into obedient women who would look after their parents and find good respectable husbands They both wanted and their parents tried to clip their wings They succeeded with Catherine but not with Grace She escaped after using covert means to secure a place at an all women college It was wonderful to watch and my heart rose for Grace and fell for Catherine There’s a fine line between realism and pastiche and another between drama and melodrama Susanna Jones walks both rather well It was wonderful to arrive at university with Grace What a wonderful world it was a world full of women seeking knowledge that no man may enter; a world where women were freed from social conventions and addressed only by their surnames; a world of cocoa evenings social clubs new friendships and so many wonderful possibilities Grace was inspired and full of confidence she formed forms the Antarctic Exploration Society to follow and maybe even to emulate their adventures Three other women joined Grace’s new venture Leonora Locke the confident and sociable daughter of liberal parents who wants to experience everything college can offer before she steps out into the world; Winifred Hooper who is apprehensive about possible adventures but curious and unwilling to be left out of any adventures that might present themselves before she settles into the traditional roles of wife and mother; and Cecily Parr who is clever forthright knowledgable and eager to take the lead A diverse uartet indeed and that confirmed the idea I had that all of this was a little bit contrived But the relationships between the four had a very interesting dynamic and the story had so many possibilities There would be adventures there would be tragedies and there would be repercussions It was compulsive reading In the end Grace would be the only survivor living alone in the family home that she had hated The stories of her friends of her family of just how she got there are complex and uite extraordinary And as those stories unfolded I began to uestion Grace’s sanity and to uestion just how reliable her account of her life really was She was a wonderfully storyteller catching the dark atmosphere of her home the cold intensity of her adventures the tangled relationships that surrounded her so very very well The story became and intense dark and claustrophobic before winding up with a wonderful twist I loved it but still I have to uibble a little Early in the story I loved the way Susanna Jones pitched her story between realism and pastiche and between drama and melodrama But later I began to wish that she would take her story one way or the other and embrace that direction wholeheartedly And I wish some of her ideas had been developed a little and some of the story opened out a little She had four women undergraduates with opposing views on women’s suffrage and I wanted to hear them argue but I didn’t I wanted to spend time with the Antarctic Exploration Society to follow every detail of their activities It isn’t that this wasn’t a really good book – it was – it’s just that I have a feeling that it could have been just a little deeper and richer The Bimbofication of Erica Delaney (The Bimbofication of Woman Book 55) the idea of a novel about Edwardian lady mountaineers and I was even intrigued when I placed June 29, 1999 the name of Sette giorni fra mille anni the author Because I recalled Microscale and Miniscale Organic Chemistry Laboratory Experiments that Susanna Jones specialises in dark storytelling unreliable narrators and psychological drama I hoped The Blue Ribbon Day that When Nights Were Cold would be something rather special and it very nearly was When Grace Farringdon was growing up she and her father followed Staked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 8 the polar explorations of Ernest Shackleton and his contemporaries studying every detail The Church Ladies Divine Desserts they could find It was only supposed The Life and Death of Peter Sellers to be a diversion for a little girl; Grace and her sister were expected Professional Roulette Systems That Really Work: Proven Strategies That Still Work Today (English Edition) to grow up into obedient women who would look after Keep It Movin (Drama High, their parents and find good respectable husbands They both wanted and Witch Swindled in Westerham (Paranormal Investigation Bureau, their parents 廢都 tried Chutes and Ladders to clip Ashleys Tale their wings They succeeded with Catherine but not with Grace She escaped after using covert means Les Chroniques de Krondor, tome 1 : Pug l'apprenti to secure a place at an all women college It was wonderful Right Words Right Places to watch and my heart rose for Grace and fell for Catherine There’s a fine line between realism and pastiche and another between drama and melodrama Susanna Jones walks both rather well It was wonderful The Inheritance to arrive at university with Grace What a wonderful world it was a world full of women seeking knowledge Lets Get Turtles that no man may enter; a world where women were freed from social conventions and addressed only by The Magnolias their surnames; a world of cocoa evenings social clubs new friendships and so many wonderful possibilities Grace was inspired and full of confidence she formed forms Taken (Alien Enslaved, the Antarctic Exploration Society Alchemy of the Heart to follow and maybe even السعادة الزوجية to emulate The Bannock of Idaho their adventures Three other women joined Grace’s new venture Leonora Locke Ozu the confident and sociable daughter of liberal parents who wants DP Double Teamed Bundle - 3 MFM Menage Erotica Stories to experience everything college can offer before she steps out into เมื่อคุณตาคุณยายยังเด็ก เล่ม 1 the world; Winifred Hooper who is apprehensive about possible adventures but curious and unwilling Rowdy in Paris to be left out of any adventures If I Built a Car that might present Phosphates and Phosphoric Acid themselves before she settles into Death at Blenheim Palace (Kathryn Ardleigh, the Forbidden Trouble traditional roles of wife and mother; and Cecily Parr who is clever forthright knowledgable and eager Gentleman Pimp to Subtle Revenge take Joseph Anton the lead A diverse uartet indeed and No Perfect Prince that confirmed Black Identities the idea I had Dunkelkönig (Die Dämonenkriege, that all of Defining the National Interest this was a little bit contrived But Moonbeams and Skye the relationships between In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence the four had a very interesting dynamic and Hana to Akuma, Vol. 05 the story had so many possibilities There would be adventures Cover Girls (Kabaa Garuzu) there would be Summoning the Gods tragedies and Manga in Theory and Practice: The Craft of Creating Manga there would be repercussions It was compulsive reading In The Masks of Proteus the end Grace would be Otherlife Omnibus Edition the only survivor living alone in A Quarter for a Kiss (The Million Dollar Mysteries, the family home The Buck Stops Here (The Million Dollar Mysteries, that she had hated The stories of her friends of her family of just how she got Nathans Child there are complex and uite extraordinary And as Fletch (Fletch, those stories unfolded I began Quiz Whiz to uestion Grace’s sanity and All about the Human Body to uestion just how reliable her account of her life really was She was a wonderfully storyteller catching Magnate (Acquisition, the dark atmosphere of her home Two Dukes and a Lady the cold intensity of her adventures Education and Social Change the Into the Cold Fire (Daughters of the Moon, tangled relationships Kitsune that surrounded her so very very well The story became and intense dark and claustrophobic before winding up with a wonderful Stille Seele twist I loved it but still I have Nausherwan Ki Beti / نوشیرواں Ú©ÛŒ بیٹی to uibble a little Early in The Branded Mind the story I loved The Extraterrestrial Anthology, Volume I the way Susanna Jones pitched her story between realism and pastiche and between drama and melodrama But later I began The Royal Flush to wish Once Bitten, Twice Shy that she would Broken Wings take her story one way or Unity in Diversity the other and embrace Darke (Septimus Heap, that direction wholeheartedly And I wish some of her ideas had been developed a little and some of Her Teacher the story opened out a little She had four women undergraduates with opposing views on women’s suffrage and I wanted Working Women for the 21st Century to hear Make Peace before the Sun Goes Down them argue but I didn’t I wanted The Mitrokhin Archive to spend Mannheim Rex time with The Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā the Antarctic Exploration Society Her Dragon To Slay (Dragon Guards, to follow every detail of The Spiritual Man (3) (3) (The Collected Works of Watchman Nee) their activities It isn’t White Boy that Hell's Angel this wasn’t a really good book – it was – it’s just The Karpathian Paradox that I have a feeling Why You Like It that it could have been just a little deeper and richer

Free read ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook í Susanna Jones

Candlin a women's college filled with intelligent women she finally feels her ambitions beginning to take shap I have never read anything by this author before and was not encouraged by the cover saying a gripping psychological thriller However I didn't feel this book was a psychological thriller and it certainly wasn't gripping for meOn the positive side the book covered some potentially very interesting topics and had any of these areas as described by previous reviewers been developed I probably would have enjoyed the book However they were not and the tantalising glimpses before the author changed tack yet again were just frustratingWhat was real and what was in the protagonist's imagination? Did I really care? No I guess this switching between the two was what was meant to make it a psychological thriller but it just frustrated me and made me put the book down and go off to do something productive If it hadn't been the first book for a new reading group I certainly wouldn't have bothered to finish itIt will be interesting to hear what other members of the group have to say especially as the author is going to attend the meeting Im Not Crazy I Just Lost My Glasses to Neither Sharks Nor Wolves take shap I have never read anything by Undefeated this author before and was not encouraged by Werewolf Erotica Triple Pack the cover saying a gripping psychological Modern Logic thriller However I didn't feel Ghost (Paladin of Shadows, this book was a psychological Artful Experiments thriller and it certainly wasn't gripping for meOn Wyoming Wild the positive side Tender is the Knight the book covered some potentially very interesting Gladys Aylward Daring to Trust topics and had any of Cuba these areas as described by previous reviewers been developed I probably would have enjoyed Data Jack (Jack Stratton, the book However love letters to monsters they were not and The Necessary Beggar the The Dunkard tantalising glimpses before Heidi Heckelbeck Gets Glasses the author changed Los hermanos cuervo tack yet again were just frustratingWhat was real and what was in Just One Sip (Dark Ones, the protagonist's imagination? Did I really care? No I guess Zigzag Men this switching between Fierce Heat the Twisted Scripture, Twisted Theology two was what was meant The Richest Heart (A Hero at Heart, to make it a psychological Breaking the Cycle of Hurtful Family Experiences thriller but it just frustrated me and made me put The Informed Eye the book down and go off The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke to do something productive If it hadn't been AmonRa Uzaylı Bir Prensin Yaşam Öyküsü the first book for a new reading group I certainly wouldn't have bothered Catch-22 (Catch-22 to finish itIt will be interesting Sew U to hear what other members of Orford Parish Murder Houses the group have The Enclave (The Verge, to say especially as Jades Peace the author is going Dare to Disappoint to attend Chump Change the meeting

Susanna Jones í 4 Summary

Stifling home with her protective parents and eccentric agoraphobic sister But when Grace secretly applies to Hell did this book make me angry I felt cheated by this one Probably because I expected something totally different? This is basically just yet another novel about a Victorian heroine being straight laced by strict parents and as a result unable to fulfill her dreams wasting her life dreaming and slowly going mad A Guardian uote promised a gripping psychological thriller which totally led me unto the wrong track The plot sounded promising with its Shackletonarctic exploration angle Little did I know that all the aspirations of the Arctic Society the narrator Grace Farringdon founded would stay imaginary and only amount to some hare brained students playing explorers with their fingers on the map The alpine part stays a sketch too revealed only in glimses and in hindsight Ok two of the friends manage to climb the Matterhorn later on led by a native guide and wit disastrous results but maybe that too was only a fever dream of the unhinged narrator who is getting and unreliabel as the story unfolds I also was not too impressed by the writing which stayed oddly flat staying on the surface of things but maybe that was intentional as Farringdon is not one given to try and decipher the feelings of others East Wind to Hell did Mayor this book make me angry I felt cheated by 神様のカルテ 2[Kamisama No Karute 2] this one Probably because I expected something Ice Cream And Suicide (English Edition) totally different? This is basically just yet another novel about a Victorian heroine being straight laced by strict parents and as a result unable Men Read Newspapers, Not Minds...and Other Things I Wish Id Known When I First Married to fulfill her dreams wasting her life dreaming and slowly going mad A Guardian uote promised a gripping psychological Im Not Crazy I Just Lost My Glasses thriller which Neither Sharks Nor Wolves totally led me unto Undefeated the wrong Werewolf Erotica Triple Pack track The plot sounded promising with its Shackletonarctic exploration angle Little did I know Modern Logic that all Ghost (Paladin of Shadows, the aspirations of Artful Experiments the Arctic Society Wyoming Wild the narrator Grace Farringdon founded would stay imaginary and only amount Tender is the Knight to some hare brained students playing explorers with Gladys Aylward Daring to Trust their fingers on Cuba the map The alpine part stays a sketch Data Jack (Jack Stratton, too revealed only in glimses and in hindsight Ok love letters to monsters two of The Necessary Beggar the friends manage The Dunkard to climb Heidi Heckelbeck Gets Glasses the Matterhorn later on led by a native guide and wit disastrous results but maybe Los hermanos cuervo that Just One Sip (Dark Ones, too was only a fever dream of Zigzag Men the unhinged narrator who is getting and unreliabel as Fierce Heat the story unfolds I also was not Twisted Scripture, Twisted Theology too impressed by The Richest Heart (A Hero at Heart, the writing which stayed oddly flat staying on Breaking the Cycle of Hurtful Family Experiences the surface of The Informed Eye things but maybe The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke that was intentional as Farringdon is not one given AmonRa Uzaylı Bir Prensin Yaşam Öyküsü to Catch-22 (Catch-22 try and decipher Sew U the feelings of others


10 thoughts on “When Nights Were Cold

  1. says:

    As the Second World War approaches Grace Farringdon a lonely and reclusive woman is sheltering from the world in what was once her family home in Dulwich now inhabited by Grace and a pair of eccentric lodgers Estranged from her sister and seemingly without friends she is haunted by memories of the past and we soon discover she is a figure of such notoriety that a journalist may be trying to break into her house She also reveals that she is the only survivor of 'the Society' following what seems to have been an expedition that went horribly wrong Over the course of the night she looks back on her memories of the events that led up to this incident which form the bulk of the book's thoroughly engrossing narrativeGrace's memories take us back to the days of her youth when she longed for escape Obsessed with explorers such as Scott and Shackleton the celebrities of their day she dreams of adventure but is constantly stifled by her overbearing father and subservient mother who believe that women should be confined to the home Adding to her anguish is the fate of her sister Catherine a talented musician who is denied entry to college by her parents and later seems to have spiralled into a form of madness Determined that the same will not happen to her Grace secures the funds needed to attend a women's college where she sets up an Antarctic Exploration Society At first Grace and the other members Leonora Locke Cicely Parr and Winifred Hooper simply plan to study the progress of famous explorers but they uickly develop ambitious plansEvery nuance of emotion in this story is so wonderfully and sometimes painfully evoked I felt that I was living Grace's experiences her intense frustration at being trapped by her family; her intellectual and social awakening upon her entry to college; her desperate hope and subseuent heartbreak when a love affair turns sour; the anguish of friendships lost The characters are also beautifully portrayed The four girls make an unlikely set of friends Grace is uncertain of her own identity Locke is vibrant and overdramatic Parr bossy and aloof and Hooper far reserved than the others Additionally Parr unlike the other members of the Society is staunchly opposed to women's suffrage despite being by far the most independent and strong willed of the group This makes for a fascinating clash of personalities and beliefs which while not always explicitly stated is constantly present as an undercurrent in everything the group doesI recently read the author's debut The Earthuake Bird which boasted a brilliantly twisted unreliable narrator and I was hoping for of the same from When Nights Were Cold I wasn't disappointed Grace is indeed a near perfect example of the unreliable narrator attempting to gain the reader's trust in her version of events but unwittingly allowing disconcerting glimpses of the truth The plot twists and turns in unexpected directions the nature of the Society's demise is not at all what you may assume at the beginning and the story is consistently gripping with diversions and surprises I didn't see comingI've read another review of this book which argued the case that it could have been deeper and richer and I do actually agree with that I would love to have seen of the interaction between the four friends and a detailed exploration of their lives both at college and afterwards I would have been happy to have read twice or three times as much about Grace and her fellow explorers However the story certainly didn't feel like it was lacking in any essential detail indeed the author's deft handling of such complex issues and characters within a relatively short book was one of the best things about it When Nights Were Cold is a sophisticated and accomplished version of the type of tale told in Charlotte Rogan's The Lifeboat it combines a historical setting with the intrigue of a psychological thriller and features a 'lone survivor' protagonist whose account cannot necessarily be trusted I would also compare it to Jane Harris's Gillespie and I another favourite of mine and there are certain similarities with Sarah Waters' work not least the tremendous sense of atmosphere and the author's skill at making you sympathise with a potentially deceitful character I loved this book to the point that I would recommend it to almost everyone fans of historical fiction unreliable narrators andor slow burning mysteries will find much to enjoy here


  2. says:

    I was intrigued by the idea of a novel about Edwardian lady mountaineers and I was even intrigued when I placed the name of the author Because I recalled that Susanna Jones specialises in dark storytelling unreliable narrators and psychological drama I hoped that When Nights Were Cold would be something rather special and it very nearly was When Grace Farringdon was growing up she and her father followed the polar explorations of Ernest Shackleton and his contemporaries studying every detail they could find It was only supposed to be a diversion for a little girl; Grace and her sister were expected to grow up into obedient women who would look after their parents and find good respectable husbands They both wanted and their parents tried to clip their wings They succeeded with Catherine but not with Grace She escaped after using covert means to secure a place at an all women college It was wonderful to watch and my heart rose for Grace and fell for Catherine There’s a fine line between realism and pastiche and another between drama and melodrama Susanna Jones walks both rather well It was wonderful to arrive at university with Grace What a wonderful world it was a world full of women seeking knowledge that no man may enter; a world where women were freed from social conventions and addressed only by their surnames; a world of cocoa evenings social clubs new friendships and so many wonderful possibilities Grace was inspired and full of confidence she formed forms the Antarctic Exploration Society to follow and maybe even to emulate their adventures Three other women joined Grace’s new venture Leonora Locke the confident and sociable daughter of liberal parents who wants to experience everything college can offer before she steps out into the world; Winifred Hooper who is apprehensive about possible adventures but curious and unwilling to be left out of any adventures that might present themselves before she settles into the traditional roles of wife and mother; and Cecily Parr who is clever forthright knowledgable and eager to take the lead A diverse uartet indeed and that confirmed the idea I had that all of this was a little bit contrived But the relationships between the four had a very interesting dynamic and the story had so many possibilities There would be adventures there would be tragedies and there would be repercussions It was compulsive reading In the end Grace would be the only survivor living alone in the family home that she had hated The stories of her friends of her family of just how she got there are complex and uite extraordinary And as those stories unfolded I began to uestion Grace’s sanity and to uestion just how reliable her account of her life really was She was a wonderfully storyteller catching the dark atmosphere of her home the cold intensity of her adventures the tangled relationships that surrounded her so very very well The story became and intense dark and claustrophobic before winding up with a wonderful twist I loved it but still I have to uibble a little Early in the story I loved the way Susanna Jones pitched her story between realism and pastiche and between drama and melodrama But later I began to wish that she would take her story one way or the other and embrace that direction wholeheartedly And I wish some of her ideas had been developed a little and some of the story opened out a little She had four women undergraduates with opposing views on women’s suffrage and I wanted to hear them argue but I didn’t I wanted to spend time with the Antarctic Exploration Society to follow every detail of their activities It isn’t that this wasn’t a really good book – it was – it’s just that I have a feeling that it could have been just a little deeper and richer


  3. says:

    Excellent novel about the life of Grace Farringdon a young woman in the early 1900's who wants to leave her stifled life Eventually she gets to Candlin College where she meets Leonora Locke Cicely Parr and Winifred Hooper and starts the Antartic Exploration Society Looking back on how she is the only surviving member Grace tells her story and evokes the restrictions on women with great atmosphere Loved it


  4. says:

    Hell did this book make me angry I felt cheated by this one Probably because I expected something totally different? This is basically just yet another novel about a Victorian heroine being straight laced by strict parents and as a result unable to fulfill her dreams wasting her life dreaming and slowly going mad A Guardian uote promised a gripping psychological thriller which totally led me unto the wrong track The plot sounded promising with its Shackletonarctic exploration angle Little did I know that all the aspirations of the Arctic Society the narrator Grace Farringdon founded would stay imaginary and only amount to some hare brained students playing explorers with their fingers on the map The alpine part stays a sketch too revealed only in glimses and in hindsight Ok two of the friends manage to climb the Matterhorn later on led by a native guide and wit disastrous results but maybe that too was only a fever dream of the unhinged narrator who is getting and unreliabel as the story unfolds I also was not too impressed by the writing which stayed oddly flat staying on the surface of things but maybe that was intentional as Farringdon is not one given to try and decipher the feelings of others


  5. says:

    From Shade Point Hours have passed and I am shivering I could sit down here until I freeze let frost be my skin and let icicles hang from my chin let glaciers creep through London and crush my house It is how I have lived these fifteen yearsSince her superb debut novel The Earthuake Bird Susanna Jones has been crafting a place as one of this country's most impressive writers She excels in dark psychological mystery Not procedural mystery with detectives and so on but the kind of sharp dissection of our devices and desires that reminds me of Du Maurier or HighsmithThis new novel is her finest and that's from someone who liked the previous three very much Something about its chilly madness has stuck with me and I find myself returning often to her alternating worlds of Victorian drawing room and towering mountainside that seem to collapse together both eually as forbidding and terrorisingJust before the First World War Grace Farringdon manages to secure a place at Candlin Women's College very much against the wishes of her austere parents There her childhood dreams of ice and exploration will become a reality as she forms an Antartic Exploration Society that will lead Grace and three fellow members into darkness on the alps Imbued with this sense of adventure by a wounded and tragic seafarer of a father the novel explores the dreams and fears that steep in the bloodlines of families and where these single minded obsessions can take us when we let them take over our reasonIn fact so haunted and chilling did I find this story that I can well imagine readers lulled by the Romantic cover the story of derring do and there is a wry bit of that here only to be shocked on finding that here on the snowy peaks there is despair and pain and locked in the dank rooms of her Victorian home is a madness flooding through all things In one extremely memorable scene Grace's forlorn sister Catherine sits on the floor making endless piles of misshapen ghoulish rag dollsThe whole household at this point seems lost in eccentricity and delusion there were thirty or forty of them all misshapen strangely deformed with heads sewn onto their sides stuffing falling out limbs hanging off their bodies I started at the sight of them Catherine was snipping intently at a length of blue silk tongue poking out of the corner of her mouth The central mystery at the heart of the novel is a tragedy that takes place on the Exploration Society's first major exhibition climbing in the alps It is an event that is described with such a suddeness and breathtaking simplicity that it succeeds completely in framing the rest of the book It is an unforgettably well crafted moment From an already unbalanced progress so far this moment drives Grace into increasingly tighter claustrophobic mental spaces A narrator that had seemed reliable becomes increasingly unhinged The reader will be compelled to read the last fifty pages or so in one sitting driven on by the tension and menace There are moments towards the end that have almost a surreal hallucinatory uality as Grace seems neither in London nor the Alps but as said before in some vicious hinterland between the twoIn the end it is a world of ghosts The reader will move with Grace through one imagining to another drifting in an out of what seems to be reality what seems to be the truth of the tragedy in the mountains But in a way this is a chaotic world and nothing is ever as it seems to be The fiercest of sudden emotions their reactions and conseuences are laid bare in this darkly beautiful book On a different level it is about the death of an age pomp and circumstance and stiff upper lip dashed and broken on the slopes


  6. says:

    Grace Farringdon has always been obsessed with polar exploration and diligently follows the exploits of Scott and Shackleton When she enrolls at Candlin College she sets up a Ladies’ Polar Exploration society joined by her friend Leonora Locke an aspiring playwright and suffragist; Winifred Hooper a budding botanist; and Cicely Parr an irascible mountaineer whose parents died in a climbing accident but who continues to climb with her intrepid aunt and uncleDisaster strikes during an expedition to the Alps and World War I also intervenes to divide the friends A return journey to the Matterhorn brings yet another catastrophe but this time it may have been manmade As the last remaining member of the society and an isolated spinster Grace is the one recalling the incidents of those years roughly 1904 1923 But is her account reliable? She has always had a vivid imagination and after graduation a few people thought she was showing signs of incipient madness; now she suffers from hallucinations brought on by medication seeing dead friends and family members So how accurate are her reminiscences about what happened on those two ill fated alpine expeditions?This is a terrific suspense novel with well realized settings Candlin is a fictionalized version of the college where my husband used to work Royal Holloway part of the University of London; once known as Bedford College for women Candlin’s red brick turreted main building the statue of ueen Victoria out on the north uad pond and picture gallery with the famous painting of bloodied polar bears are all based on RHUL’s wonderful Victorian Founder’s Building


  7. says:

    Review also seen on Farringdon has always been mesmerized and fascinated with the great explorers and often daydreams that she could one day accompany Shackleton on a voyage to Antarctica Grace decides that she will attend university against the wishes of her family and the expectations of society There she meets like minded women and forms an Antarctica Exploration Society Soon play acting is not enough and they begin to embark on a life changing journey The tragic events of their first real climb haunt Grace and its members Locke and Parr for the rest of their lives Grace is a unreliable narrator Her loved ones are of the opinion that she is not sound of mind but who are we to trust? because through her eyes they are the ones that are not sane There are vague references to medication and hallucinations that once afflicted her father but there is great mystery surrounding her state of mindMountaineering did not have as large a part as I thought that it would and that disappointed me slightly but this novel was in no way boring or uneventfulThis was a dark atmospheric novel that sought to mislead and deceive the reader Grace and women in general seem to suffocate under the restrictions and expectations of their sex The entire novel had a very claustrophobic feel to it both socially mentally and physicallyA great novel very much in the vein of Sarah Waters


  8. says:

    I have never read anything by this author before and was not encouraged by the cover saying a gripping psychological thriller However I didn't feel this book was a psychological thriller and it certainly wasn't gripping for meOn the positive side the book covered some potentially very interesting topics and had any of these areas as described by previous reviewers been developed I probably would have enjoyed the book However they were not and the tantalising glimpses before the author changed tack yet again were just frustratingWhat was real and what was in the protagonist's imagination? Did I really care? No I guess this switching between the two was what was meant to make it a psychological thriller but it just frustrated me and made me put the book down and go off to do something productive If it hadn't been the first book for a new reading group I certainly wouldn't have bothered to finish itIt will be interesting to hear what other members of the group have to say especially as the author is going to attend the meeting


  9. says:

    I enjoyed this one albeit with a shudder of relief that I live here and now From the start of the book the reader is made aware that the reclusive narrator is notorious for some reason and the narrative flickers back and forth between her present and her childhood and adventurous early adulthood My favourite part of the book was the account of Grace's escape to an early women's college and her friendships with three other students with an interest in the Antarctic Their small rebellions and struggles against the restrictions of Edwardian society develop into an increasingly claustrophobic story of dreams denied as both Grace and her compliant older sister buckle under the weight of social and family expectations The mountain seuences are excellent and Grace's voice is well done and unsettling to exactly the right degree It's a cold read one that I appreciated and found interesting than one that ignited my passion but I recommend it


  10. says:

    A high uality novel in terms of style of writing and vivid description The storyline however falters at some points and does not have the pace and cogency which I would have likedAs a psychological thriller this is story given by an unreliable narrator As it goes on and of the story is made up of scenes which may be imaginary or misunderstood Indeed it is possible that all of these expeditions and disasters are merely hallucinations an indication of that is the mental instability of the narrator's father Has she inherited his state of mind?The ending to me is unclear Does she perish in the fire she sets in the family home? This is rather like the actions of the mad wife in Jane Eyre Or does she set fire to this place of sad memories and just run off?I agree with some other commentators on When Nights Were Cold that the most powerful part of the text is the looking back on early friendships and the nostalgia for youth in a world which has been taken away by changeIn some psychological thrillers there is an afterword sometimes written in the form of a newspaper report a letter from an observer or a coroner's decision giving an impartial view of the real status and fate of the narrator This novel would be very much better with such an addition It would improve the story with clarity and interest