Reviewed by Lee, Balgowlah
One voyage, many voices.
Leaving France in 1785 with the grand purpose of scientific and geographic discovery, Laperouse commands La Boussole and Astrolabe, and the fate of 114 men. This novel captures that ill-fated expedition with meticulous research and terrific characterisation. An historical fiction that goes beyond the usual chronological narrative, Naomi J. Williams employs multiple perspectives revealing human failings, the chasm between cultures, and the contest between religion and science over knowledge. All these grand themes are conveyed with nuance and texture in the everyday interactions of humans, and play a part in creating a vivid world.