Soundings

£10.99

From the lagoons of Mexico to Arctic glaciers, grey whale mothers are swimming with their calves, past predatory orcas, through a warming sea. For 10,000 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 into an Iñupiaq family, their culture and the disappearing ice. Years later, plunged into sudden poverty and isolation, living in a Women’s Refuge with her baby son, Doreen recalls the wilderness that once helped shape her own.

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‘Beautiful . . . Justifies its place alongside nature writing classics such as H is for Hawk‘ NEW STATESMAN

‘Wonderful … both frank and fearless’ TELEGRAPH BEST TRAVEL BOOKS OF THE YEAR

‘Fascinating’ GUARDIAN TOP TEN NATURE MEMOIRS

From Mexico to the Arctic ice, grey whale mothers swim with their calves. Following them, by bus, train and ferry, are Doreen and her toddler Max, in pursuit of a wild hope.

Doreen first visited Alaska as a young BBC journalist reporting on climate change among indigenous whaling communities. There, drawn deeply into an Iñupiaq family and an ill-fated love affair, she joined the bowhead whale hunt out on the sea ice.

Years later, now a single mother living in a hostel, Doreen embarks on this extraordinary journey: following the grey whale migration back to the Arctic, where greys and bowheads meet at the melting apex of our planet.

‘As compelling as any novel… A human story of resilience, loss and immense bravery. It becomes not just a book about mother and son, whales, the climate, but a book about power and what happens when power is abused. It is a rallying call for love’ Alice Kinsella, IRISH TIMES

‘In this melodic memoir, the climate researcher turned journalist parallels the whales’ journey with her own through parenthood’ ShreyaChattopadhyay, NEW YORK TIMES

Soundings got under my skin. I finished it in tears’ AMY LIPTROT

‘What a voice! What a book!’ CHARLES FOSTER

‘Soulful, honest, insightful, humane and propulsive’ JINI REDDY

‘Thrilling, passionate and tender-hearted’ HELEN JUKES

WINNER OF THE RSL GILES ST AUBYN AWARD

LONGLISTED FOR THE SNHN NATURAL HISTORY BOOK PRIZE

ONE OF SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE‘S TEN BEST BOOKS ABOUT TRAVEL OF 2022