The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth

Brilliance Audio. Aug. 2023. 10:37 hrs. ISBN 9798400145148. $42.99. SCI
Rush follows up her Pulitzer Prize finalist book Rising with an account of her research expedition to Antarctica to observe scientific data-gathering at Thwaites Glacier. She puts a human touch on the scientific process as she interviews the scientists, able seaman, and messmates who make the mission possible. The author postponed pregnancy to get a berth on this expedition and now gathers the birth stories of her fellow shipmates. As the Nathaniel B. Palmer vessel approaches Antarctica, however, she is confronted with the real impact of climate change on this frozen place, and she contemplates the wisdom of bringing a child into such a world. Award-winning narrator Helen Laser offers a smooth, rich performance, ably communicating scientific data while bringing out the human side of this impressive venture. Laser conveys the lyricism of Rush’s writing, which verges on poetic, even when describing the small details of taking samples and analyzing measurements.
VERDICT An elegantly narrated, fully fleshed account of a singular trip to an imperiled place. Listeners and readers of Margaret Lowman’s The Arbornaut or Naira de Gracia’s The Last Cold Place will love this.
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