♦ Polar explorer Aston (Life Lessons) recounts in this vivid account the 2018 Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition, a trek she did with 10 women from different countries. Aston elaborates on how she selected and trained her team, some of whom had never skied or experienced intense cold before: her goal, she writes, was to “develop a better understanding of the values and perspectives of women from different cultures.” What sets the book apart is the enriching firsthand accounts from the team members interspersed throughout: “I am an introvert,” writes Olga, a mountaineer from Russia, “so the thought of living so closely with ten women from different countries on this expedition made me anxious.” Their accounts cover the life-threatening weather the team faced (“A storm like this can destroy confidence just as it destroys tents,” writes Steph from Cyprus), treacherous turns of fate (“I smiled as I approached the ground, thinking that if this was it, then there would be no problems at all…. Ten minutes later my eyelashes were covered in ice and my eyelids had frozen together. I had my first moment of panic,” writes Nataša, a Slovenian journalist), and finally the joy of arriving at the Pole. The result is a page-turning tale of adventure.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review