Lucy's story "Wolf" won the 2013 Saturday Evening Post Fiction Award.
“In this compelling novel, Bledsoe captures the deadly beauty of the southernmost continent….A well-balanced humdinger of a story keeps this unusual novel hurtling along like a skidoo on the ice." -- Kirkus Reviews
"This is rich storytelling, full of gutsy characters, drama, and transformation, reminding us of the awesome and ultimately untamable power of nature, and, as vulnerable, highly social animals, our place in it." --Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
Antarctica is like a vortex that draws you back, season after season. The place is so raw and pure, all seal hide and crystalline iceberg. The fishbowl communities at McMurdo Station, South Pole Station, and in the cold and remote field camps intensify relationships, jack all emotion up to a 10. The trick is to get what you need and then get out fast.
At least that’s how 30-year-old Rosie Moore views it as she flies in for her third season on the Ice. She plans to avoid all entanglements, romantic and otherwise, and do her work as a galley cook. But when that flight crash-lands, so do all her plans.
Mikala Wilbo, a brilliant young composer whose heart – and music – have been frozen since the death of her partner, is also on that flight. She’s come to the Ice as an artist-in-residence, to write music, but also with a secret plan to view the astrophysicist father she has never met.
Arriving a few weeks later, Alice Neilson, a graduate student in geology who thinks in charts and equations, is thrilled to leave her dependent mother and start her career at last. But from the start she’s aware that her post-doc advisor, with whom she will work in Antarctica, expects much more from their relationship.
As the three women become increasingly involved in each others’ lives, they find themselves deeply transformed by their time on the Ice. Each falls in love. Each faces challenges she never thought she’d meet. And ultimately, each finds redemption in a depth and quality of friendship that only the harsh beauty of that continent can engender.
The Big Bang Symphony reveals the extraordinary effects of a gorgeously wild environment on three unique women.
Notes from other writers about The Big Bang Symphony:
“Against the frozen blues and grays of McMurdo Station, three women trick themselves into thinking they can ‘get what they need and then get out fast.' But ice holds onto things. Cold makes the wrong kind of warm all too easy. When three independent women come to ‘the cold white polar beauty’ with cautious longing, what they find isn’t what they’d hoped for. Lucy Jane Bledsoe depicts place as a character in this charming, tightly-orchestrated novel, filled with striking description and suspenseful plot twists. A total ‘can’t put it down’ experience!” — Carol Guess, author of Switch
“Lucy Jane Bledsoe knows that the people who go to Antarctica move to a heightened existence, as if to the roof of the universe, where they are stripped to their essences under a surreal sun; the threat of death and the hope of love are both obvious in every breath you take, and people act accordingly. She has written a beautiful novel about living in that extreme space, vivid and suspenseful—it really captures the feel of the Ice, and the intensity of living and learning there.” — Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Antarctica and the Mars Trilogy
"Lucy Jane Bledsoe is not only a terrific writer, but a writer’s writer -- she stretches her skills, walks new paths and aims for the bleachers each time out. With The Big Bang Symphony, she’s hit one out of the park. Her usual brew of strong, complex, quirky women characters is in evidence again, but the theme in her latest novel is all about finding connection, or, more specifically, finding home. The fact that she has set the story at the south pole, with scenes so frigid they will make your teeth hurt, seems a sly bit of humor, but also a metaphor. How far do we need to go to understand who we are and where we came from? The Big Bang Symphony is part meditation, part exploration, and always great storytelling." -- Ellen Hart, author of The Iron Girl