Stories of the Canadian Arctic intersect in this epic five-hundred-year journey led by a one-eared polar bear.
In 1535, Hummiktuq, an Inuk widow, has a strange dream about the future. The next day, she discovers a bear cub floating on ice near a breathing hole. Despite the concerns of her community, she adopts him and names him Angu’ruaq. In 1845, Angu’ruaq and his mate Ukuannuaq wander into a chance meeting between explorers from the Franklin Expedition and Inuit hunters. Later, when the explorers are starving, the bears meet them again. By 2035, entrepreneurs are assessing degrees of melting ice for future opportunities. Angu’ruaq encounters the passengers and crew of a luxury cruise ship as it slinks through the oily waters of the Northwest Passage.
Humorous and dramatic, The Breathing Hole is a profound saga that traces the paths of colonialism and climate change to a deeply moving conclusion.