Doreen Cunningham | Soundings


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In this striking blend of nature writing, whale science, and memoir, Doreen Cunningham interweaves two stories: tracking the extraordinary northward migration of the grey whales with a mischievous toddler in tow and living with an Iñupiaq family in Alaska seven years earlier. Throughout the journey she explores the stories of the whales and their young calves—their history, their habits, and their attempts to survive the changes humans have brought to the ocean.

Cunningham’s voice is powerful: sharp, profound, sensitive, and unflinching. A story of courage and resilience, Soundings is about the migrating whales and all we can learn from them as they mother, adapt, and endure, their lives interrupted and threatened by global warming. It is also a riveting journey onto the Arctic Sea ice and into the changing world of Indigenous whale hunters, where Doreen becomes immersed in the ancient values of the Iñupiaq whale hunt and falls in love. For this is Doreen’s story, too—a fierce, feminist tale, touching on her childhood and her time living in a Women’s Refuge with her baby, becoming a mother, just like the whales.


Additional Information about the book

Publisher: Scribner

ISBN: ‎978-1982171797


Word Count: 96000 words

Length: 320 pages

Language: English

Release Date: July 12, 2022

Available as: Ebook,Paperback

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1 Reviews


August 29, 2022
Character Development

My wife read this book and she says: "Soundings was a very easy and gratifying read. This was one of my favourite books of the last few years, weaving seamlessly Doreen's personal story with factual information about climate change and ecology. The author has a beautiful, lyrical turn of phrase that remains light and fluid, an exquisite skill in building vivid pictures, and a raw honesty that makes you feel compassion for the characters and ultimately, for our tragic human experience. And yet somehow, the book also makes you feel optimistic about the future. Quite an achievement."

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