I’m rereading Bea Uusma’s The Expedition: A Love Story.
Top 5 reasons I am madly in love this book:
- Uusma is a brilliant writer. One of the most difficult things about writing is finding a way to lead your reader through the text. I’ve heard it explained as you need to take the reader by the hand, which makes so much sense. Uusma has truly nailed this. Her tone is friendly and she feeds you bits of information at a time. She writes as if her main interest is having you know what she knows.
- The story is fascinating! Yes I’m calling it a story even if it’s technically non-fiction. Three men with no experience and no/little knowledge of the Arctic decide to go on a Polar expedition. In a balloon. And of course they crash on the ice; because that just wasn’t what they planned. In their minds it wasn’t a possibility. Of course it had to happen. I’m currently leaning towards it’s a cautionary tale about optimism. I really do want to argue that that was what killed them in the end. SPOILER. They never made it back to civilization.
- Uusma knows how to edit. While she presents plenty of evidence, and while she is thorough, she also makes sure that there is a point to what’s included. As a reader, I am never bored by pointless details for the sake of including everything which is often a problem in non-fiction.
- Beautiful presentation of the material. It’s just such a pleasure to read on all levels. Do I regret not getting the hardback + pic version of the book? Kinda. She mixes different types of texts and fonts. Sounds awful and confusing? It’s not. The way she does it makes sense; it keeps things interesting.
- I do love a story with an unhappy ending, I really do.