Having voluntarily left her job in expectation of finally getting a long-awaited marriage proposal from her boyfriend Kieran, Clarissa Schneckberg is instead flabbergasted to find herself unceremoniously dumped. Nearly prostrate with grief, she moves back in with her parents and hibernates in bed awallow in tears and sorrow, surfacing only to consume takeout food brought by her good friends Delilah and Kate. Alternately cajoling and firm, her two friends attempt to boost Clarissa’s sagging morale but are hampered by their own problems – Kate’s been hastily laid off, while Delilah finally wakes up to the fact she’s being phased out of her own cosmetic company.
Unhappy with themselves and their career choices, in severe need of change and badly wanting to prove their own worth, the naïve triumvirate ignore advice about the harsh life there and sign up for a season in Antarctica, only too anxious to take advantage of the four-to-one male-to-female ratio there. The three fashionistas come breezing into the freezing south most inappropriately dressed in high couture outfits and impossibly high heels and appear tailor-made for disaster and failure. Will the ladies get the life-changing experience or the romance they’d come hoping for, or will all their lofty goals and plans fall straight down into some deep, dark icy crevasse, never to see the light of day again?
Liz Maverick’s entertaining account of three clueless career women from the city who head to Antarctica hoping for adventure, inspiration and romance and instead find something quite else, is not only humorous but also a welcome new twist in the chick-lit genre. Usually the central characters are from or headed to London, whereas this story takes quite a different direction. Drawing from her own personal experience, the author provides an authentic albeit humorous look at the harsh reality of life in the South Pole, touching upon both grisly details and glorious experiences. Undergoing various slapstick comedy-styled near disasters, the triad, Clarissa in particular, slip and slide, cry and huddle their way through many a predicament and nearly come close to chucking it all up, ill-equipped as they are mentally, emotionally and gear-wise. Their friendship is laudable and their closeness under the most trying circumstances (think no moisturizer and uniforms) is enviable. Overall fresh, bubbly and entertaining, the story is quite charming but never quite gets its stuff together enough to become a meaningful one.