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Publisher Description

 “Riveting.” —The New York Times Book Review Hundreds of miles from civilization, two ships wreck on opposite ends of the same deserted island in this true story of human nature at its best—and at its worst.

It is 1864, and Captain Thomas Musgrave’s schooner, the Grafton, has just wrecked on Auckland Island, a forbidding piece of land 285 miles south of New Zealand. Battered by year-round freezing rain and constant winds, it is one of the most inhospitable places on earth. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death.

Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite end of the island, another ship runs aground during a storm. Separated by only twenty miles and the island’s treacherous, impassable cliffs, the crews of the Grafton and the Invercauld face the same fate. And yet where the Invercauld’s crew turns inward on itself, fighting, starving, and even turning to cannibalism, Musgrave’s crew bands together to build a cabin and a forge—and eventually, to find a way to escape. 

Using the survivors’ journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings to life this extraordinary untold story about leadership and the fine line between order and chaos.

June 8
Algonquin Books
Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

Customer Reviews

Str8 8 ,

Resilience of the human spirit

An amazing story of camaraderie and the will to not only survive, but thrive under the worst possible conditions. Tough men, a completely different breed than we are today.

mattfite ,

Great story of survival and leadership

The author has woven a compelling tale of survival and determination from many varying sources. The survivors of the Grafton endured harsh winters and lean provisions because of their innovation, will and willingness to work together.

Edhtc ,

Great Story

An amazing story of survival. It took so many different types of skills to survive and escape. Loved it.

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