Oct 25, 2020
Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic
Posted by Jennifer Niven

From the author of The Ice Master comes the remarkable true story of a young Inuit woman who survived six months alone on a desolate, uninhabited Arctic islandIn September 1921, four young men and Ada Blackjack, a diminutive 25 year old Eskimo woman, ventured deep into the Arctic in a secret attempt to colonize desolate Wrangel Island for Great Britain Two years later, AdFrom the author of The Ice Master comes the remarkable true story of a young Inuit woman who survived six months alone on a desolate, uninhabited Arctic islandIn September 1921, four young men and Ada Blackjack, a diminutive 25 year old Eskimo woman, ventured deep into the Arctic in a secret attempt to colonize desolate Wrangel Island for Great Britain Two years later, Ada Blackjack emerged as the sole survivor of this ambitious polar expedition This young, unskilled woman who had headed to the Arctic in search of money and a husband conquered the seemingly unconquerable north and survived all alone after her male companions had perished.Following her triumphant return to civilization, the international press proclaimed her the female Robinson Crusoe But whatever stories the press turned out came from the imaginations of reporters Ada Blackjack refused to speak to anyone about her horrific two years in the Arctic Only on one occasion after charges were published falsely accusing her of causing the death of one her companions did she speak up for herself.Jennifer Niven has created an absorbing, compelling history of this remarkable woman, taking full advantage of the wealth of first hand resources about Ada that exist, including her never before seen diaries, the unpublished diaries from other primary characters, and interviews with Ada s surviving son Ada Blackjack is than a rugged tale of a woman battl

  • Title: Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic
  • Author: Jennifer Niven
  • ISBN: 9780786868636
  • Page: 170
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Ada Blackjack A True Story of Survival in the Arctic From the author of The Ice Master comes the remarkable true story of a young Inuit woman who survived six months alone on a desolate uninhabited Arctic islandIn September four young men and Ada


    The title of this book is a little deceiving While Ada Blackjack is featured prominently in the book, this is the telling of all the explorers on the Wrangel Island expedition As much detail is given to the other four explorers and their families as is given about Blackjack herself.Ada Blackjack was an impoverished woman living in Alaska Because of her limited income, she was forced to put her son in a home while she tried to earn money for the both of them When she was hired on as a seamstress [...]


    The explorers, four young white men from the U.S and Canada and Ada, a 23 year old Inuit woman set out under a Canadian flag to claim a barren rock in the tundra north of the new Soviet Union for the British Empire But with a lack of proper funding a grandstanding, do nothing Svengali of a leader and an inexperienced crew, the mission was doomed from the start Niven s hero is the slight, shy Blackjack, who, though neither as worldly wise as her companions nor as self sufficient, learns to take c [...]


    How could I not have had this on my list I read this years ago but I will always remember the story of Ada Blackjack I was really surprised that I d somehow forgotten to add this to my list of favorite books This book was so fascinating to read I really love survival stories and this one was hardcore It s one of those books that I ve had to pass on to other people and so far everyone I ve passed this onto has loved it.This was my first encounter with Niven Really loved this book and hope people [...]


    If ever there was a woman who took the wrong job, Ada Blackjack qualifies for the honor A 23 year old Inuit woman with a sick child, Ada agreed to accompany four so called explorers to Wrangel Island north of Siberia, for 50.00 a month The year was 1923 Although there had already been a failed attempt to live self sufficently on Wrangel Island, a silver tounged adventurer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a Canadian, talked four young men into going back to study the wildlife and do weather experiments St [...]


    I just read Velva Jean Learns to Drive and loved it I looked up the author and found that she had written this nonfiction book as well which I read a year or so ago I couldn t believe the same author wrote two such different but wonderful books I loved the story of Ada Blackjack it was truly fantastic I don t know how I can better describe the book than the summary at , so I m pasting it below You ll love it It was controversial explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson who sent four young men and Ada Blac [...]

    Michele Millington

    Interesting account of four men and one woman who adventured Wrangell Island in the Arctic The lone survivor was Ada Blackjack Inspiring story about survival Fallout was just as interesting A little too much detail and redundancy but still interesting

    Christopher Roberts

    I should mention at the top that I did not choose this book but my girlfriend gave it to me as a gift, so going in I did not have any expectations I suppose I do have some history reading stories about the wilderness if you count horror novels like those of Algernon Blackwood, but it isn t a subject that interests me particularly much With this is mind I was particularly impressed with Jennifer Niven s writing, since she was able to draw me in so well even though the subject matter was not one I [...]


    The heroine in this amazing story is a young Inuit woman with a sick child, who goes on an expedition to an island above Siberia, thinking that she will be a seamstress for four young men, and make money for her child She doesn t really want to go, but feels trapped and obligated and not up to the task of standing up to the man who hires her After all, she is a quiet girl and it is the year 1921 Her adventures on this trek are told thru letters and diaries, and eventually by herself, as she beco [...]


    Fascinating story, and unusual because of its setting and the fact that Ada Blackjack, an Inuit woman, was the heroine at a time in history when a woman especially a woman with a distinct ethnicity was rarely credited with skills or abilities beyond the kitchen and parlor.A sad and moving account of enthusiasm that cost lives four men perished in an ill advised attempt to secure Wrangell Island for Britain and Canada in the early 1920s, and lone survivor Ada Blackjack was both glorified and vill [...]


    If you like history, especially stories of women, you ll like this one The story of Ada, who went with four men to a remote island in the Arctic When the relief ship didn t return, they spent 2 YEARS on this island Three left for help and never seen again One died of scurvy, and Ada was left for two months to fend for herself completely Think polar bears, no food, lonliness It s a fascinating story, though I skimmed the last 100 pages after her rescue Squabbling over story rights, which version [...]

    Bethany Swafford

    Ada Blackjack agrees to accompany four men to an isolated Arctic island Over the course of two years, she learns the skills she needs to be the only survivor.After reading The Ice Master also by this author , I was eager to read this book Ada Blackjack s determination to keep her word when the other Eskimos refused made me admire her even Her struggles to adjust to life on the island broke my heart, especially given how the men treated her at first.This was not a light read by any means Ada Bla [...]


    This is a good book I m just not in a nonfiction mood right now Maybe I ll come back to it eventually.

    Rebeckah Bullock

    Incredible story about a tragic expedition and one incredibly strong, resourceful woman


    I had not heard of Ada Blackjack before seeing this book The story sounded interesting, and since it was on sale, I figured why not Blackjack was only of five people and the only woman as well as the only Inuit to go to Wrangel Island, a decision that seems to be an ill conceived attempt to prove a silly point as well as to gain a useless island from Russia Gain for the Canadians that is This book will make you want to find Dr Who, steal the Tardis, go back in time, and hit people upside the hea [...]

    Tom Johnson

    6 stars if I could most moving book since Chernow s Hamilton I happened across ABJ when buying another book on eBay checked the seller s other items took a chance, glad I did that first copy was an ARC and terrible, text full of errors that seemed contrived, is the Advanced Reading Copy a scam whatever, after 103 pages the book was too good to tolerate such a poor copy, bought a nice hardcover with maps and photos and no errors began again at page one the book has it all, heroes and villains, la [...]

    Bunnie O'hara

    this is supposed to be a true story and until i got about half way through i thought it rang true but the part where ada is left with lorne knight i thought was too much she is depicted as a frightened eskimo woman left alone to tend to one of the men who is sick with scurvy and who eventually becomes bed ridden then she is able to shoot birds out of the sky bring in game from traps that she taught herself to set build a umiak from canvass carve oars from drift wood it is hard to believe she man [...]


    LOVE this book A true story set in the 1920s, a group of ill prepared survivors set off to live on a remote Arctic island for a year They hire Ada Blackjack, and Inuit woman, to cook and make clothes for them on the journey She is the sole survivor of the expedition The description of the beginning of the trek is a little hard to stomach because of the way the explorers treat Ada, but the details seem true to life without romanticizing the adventure Ada s strength is apparent at the end of the o [...]


    I learned of this book s existence thru Tumblr Always curious for the lives of women, especially in history I was excited to read this Blackjack s story is hidden in the cracks of history, and I was very dismayed to see the way she was treated by her contemporaries Insinuating that she was a prostitute, using her for their own devices, and meanwhile she suffers in poverty despite being owed tonnes of money It was awful to read the sheer lunacy of the man who decided to change his name to somethi [...]


    I liked this one, but not as much as Ice Master The story was interesting, but not as compelling Frankly, it was than a little depressing and there was no payoff at the end I like her writing style but easily half of the book was taken up with matters after Ada was rescued from the island I just found myself getting bored in the final chapters and a bit perplexed by Ada s strange behavior She didn t come off as likeable and I m still not convinced that she WAS a hero Very odd anyway I m giving [...]


    What a mess Not the book The book was fine and well researched, though not exactly the grand adventure story I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless The expedition itself, I mean, the aftermath, the people involved that was a mess This is like a case study in how NOT to explore or adventure in the Arctic.


    How these 5 young people managed is beyond me Ada is amazing The story is well written and the author does a great job exploring the different viewpoints while writing as though you are right there in the moment.

    Becky Wandell

    Needed a better editor but an amazing story of strength and survival, ending in a very bittersweet sadness.


    This was an interesting and sad story of life in Canada at the beginning of the 1900s and the low place of the Eskimos at the time They were the guides and workhorses for the whites who felt superior and at liberty to use, but not to treat fairly or respect When we are presently inundated by calls for reparations for past treatment of the indiginous people of this country, a book like this one talks of the thoughts and feelings of, and towards the native people by the white of the time Ada Black [...]

    Dave Hutcheson

    An engaging and insightful book into the best and worst of humanity Objectively told leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions about the characters Ada Blackjack reveals the strength and vulnerability of a beautiful heart lost and abused in the civilized world One of the best books I ve read in a long time, particularly for the multiple points of view shared and the spectrum of human behaviour Ada s character reveals a beauty few look deep enough to see, and something veiled over in the g [...]

    Leslie Bauman

    A page turnerWhat an interesting woman who overcame incredible odds yet was silent about her own courage and whose will to live to take care of her son and her faith in God sustained her I ve often wondered why people choose to put themselves in such a risky situation Great read.


    An engaging account of how exploration at the start of the 20th century could go horribly wrong due to mismanagement, inexperience, bad luck, and perhaps too much faith in what is represented as bad leadership As others have mentioned, I did not find this book to be the sole story of Ada Blackjack, although ample background is given, but rather an accounting of the tragic expedition.


    I enjoy reading true stories of man woman vs the environment, and this book did not disappoint Ada and four men set out for a year on an island in the Arctic They all undergo growth through multiple challenges, especially Ada There s plenty of drama, too.

    Heidi Ha

    I had high hopes for this book after reading lots of great reviews, but sadly it just didn t keep my attention Part of the problem was that it was a little intense for this time in my life Maybe I will revisit someday

    Bernadette Calonego

    I just love these non fiction books that are set in the Arctic This is an especially fine example of excellent research, suspense and a real life protagonist who captures your head and heart Well done

    Reff Girl

    overall good, especially when focused on the actual island survival Would have given higher stars, but found it hard to plow through some of the details It felt padded.

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