In 2016, Helen, an historian, and David, a government official, journey to a slowly disintegrating Antarctic. Helen goes in search of a story. Three years before their journey, Nara, a young scientist, disappeared from an Antarctic base; she is presumed dead, though her body has never been recovered. When an international emergency forces Helen and David to over-winter in the Antarctic, a more complex story than the official record emerges – of what happened to Nara, the pilot Luke and Nara’s lover Alexander, and of what is happening to the ice. Sitting at Nara’s desk, reading her diaries on a snowed-in Antarctic base, Helen wonders if the ice will ever give up its secrets.
'McNeil has a sure hand and a deft touch with prose, and an ability to blend, for each character, profound inner experience with the awkwardnesses of social interactions. . . . The Ice Lovers is an accomplished novel, with its created worlds close enough to our own to be recognizable, yet different enough to be alarming.'