Sunday, December 12, 2010

On the Proper Use of Stars by Dominique Fortier

The year was 1845 and Sir John Franklin and his crews on the Terror and the Erebus set sail on a mission to find the Northwest Passage.  Everyone, 129 men ultimately perished on the mission.  On the Proper Use of Stars is the fictionalized story of what happened. 

Francis Crozier was second in command and kept a journal where he wrote day to day about the mission but also about the woman of his dreams, Sophia.  Back in England Lady Jane Franklin and her niece, Sophia kept busy while waiting to hear word from Sir John Franklin.  After three years have passed Lady Jane used everything and everyone at her disposal to convince the Admiralty to send out a search party.  They refused again and again.  

I took me quite awhile to get into the story.  I found the beginning quite dull.  It wasn't until things started to happen in the story that the pace picked up for me.   This book is translated, so I'm not sure if that could be part of the problem or not.  I did find the writing quite poetic and as the story got going it was very visual.  Ultimately, I warmed up to the story and enjoyed it.

Grade: 3.5/5


  1. I read about this story in The Terror by Dan Simmons. It is a fascinating incident in history.

  2. I read The Terror also, and even though it was interesting I don't think I'll be reading any more books about it in the future. I love the cover of this book though.

  3. What a beautiful cover! That would certainly get me to pick up the book and consider it - sad as that is. Thanks for the review.

  4. Marg, I actually have The Terror. Now I really want to read it.

    Alyce and Carrie, I love the cover too.