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Wegener's Jigsaw

by Clare Dudman

I did have to persevere a bit through the preface with its soliliquy on ice which (in my opinion) wasn't the most enticing opening to what is actually an intriguing story. The novel focuses on the real scientist who developed the idea of continental drift so part of the narrative has that 'faction' feel to it, but there is also a love story which is skilfully woven through.

Extract

That night I wrote to Koppen. I wanted to know whether he too had ever noticed this fitting together of the pieces. Maybe, I said, not just America and Africa had been joined, but all the continents had once been part of a huge supercontinent .... Then I stopped. The vision of a continent splitting apart, and then these two enormous fragments drifting away from each other over thousands of miles across the sea, suddenly seemed too fantastic. I put my pen down. I imagined Koppen's face. It looked puzzled and concerned. It was a ridiculous notion.

Parallels

The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge
The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
 

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