Review by Jessica Peterson White
Many a Minnesota reader has been enthralled by Peter Geye’s writing, most recently in his 2016 novel Wintering. His new novel out this month is Northernmost. It takes place in the same beautifully rendered northern climes, and again, Geye astonishes with his sensitivity and skill in weaving together the stories of wildly different but intimately connected stories. In 1897, Odd Einar Eide fights for survival in the Arctic after he’s lost on a seal-hunting expedition. When he finally returns home to his tiny Norwegian village, he fights again to reconnect with his wife, community and faith. A hundred years later in Minnesota, Greta Nansen struggles to read her heart’s compass and stay connected to what matters most, as her marriage disintegrates and new passions become a lifeline. These parallel dramas of literal survival on the tundra and figurative survival in the throes of love, loss and rediscovery of self are impossible to put down, deeply insightful and big-hearted to the point of bursting.