A home in Antarctica by Emma Garrow

by ABCCmain on November 05, 2016

Emma in Harrowgate UK did a review of The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning on her blog Making Space. Amongst other things, we loved how she described the volunteers in the book who were an essential part of the cleanup trip but were not all featured in detail. Here’s a few excerpts.


Wendy Trusler and Carol Devine spent a summer in Antartica. The Antartic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, their account of this “polar journey” to a place inaccessible to most of us, brings a surprisingly enriching perspective to domestic life. As two of the chosen few who have spent time on the most southerly continent their account and reflections bring Antartica and its message to the heart of the reader.

…Trusler’s diary of her season long stay provides the backbone of a book that ranges in perspective from the past to the future, the intimate to the global, the homely to the wild. I was curious to know more about the volunteers she feeds, but perhaps it is just as well that we do not know their names. Antartica is not theirs, nor Trusler’s, nor the Russians’ whom she is living alongside. Though Trusler does seem to discover a sense of home on King George Island, it is a place where one must sit lightly. It is only recently in history that humans have disturbed its peace. Its air of timelessness is the backdrop for relationship issues and the challenges inherent to sharing space.
This tension between solitude and sharing is a recurrent theme. A beautiful, empty continent inspires a desire sometimes to be alone, but individuals must work in teams if they are to survive. Indeed, if this volume is about any one thing, it is about a shared sense of responsibility to each other. It is beautiful that contemplating this vast area brings home the conclusion that “small gestures matter”.

We asked Emma how she heard of us and she replied, “The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning” is a life changing sort of book, I feel. I heard it about some time ago on BBC R4’s “Woman’s Hour” and found myself a copy via Amazon.” Thanks Emma!