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Saturday, October 1, 2016

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

Title: To the Bright Edge of the World
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Publisher: 9 August 2016 by Hachette Australia - Headline
Pages: 432 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction,
My Rating: 3 crowns


Set again in the Alaskan landscape that she bought to stunningly vivid life in THE SNOW CHILD, Eowyn Ivey's new novel is a breathtaking story of discovery and adventure, set at the end of the nineteenth century, and of a marriage tested by a closely held secret.

Colonel Allen Forrester receives the commission of a lifetime when he is charged to navigate Alaska's hitherto impassable Wolverine River, with only a small group of men. The Wolverine is the key to opening up Alaska and its huge reserves of gold to the outside world, but previous attempts have ended in tragedy.

For Forrester, the decision to accept this mission is even more difficult, as he is only recently married to Sophie, the wife he had perhaps never expected to find. Sophie is pregnant with their first child, and does not relish the prospect of a year in a military barracks while her husband embarks upon the journey of a lifetime. She has genuine cause to worry about her pregnancy, and it is with deep uncertainty about what their future holds that she and her husband part.

A story shot through with a darker but potent strand of the magic that illuminated THE SNOW CHILD, and with the sweep and insight that characterised Rose Tremain's The Colour, this new novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Eowyn Ivey singles her out as a major literary talent.

My Thoughts

This is a fictionalised story of an apparent real life expedition of 1885 into what what would become Alaskan territory. I had hoped to like this story more than I did. It contained many beautiful descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness, a love story and interesting cultural information about the Indian tribes during that time period and some magical legends that came to life.

Sadly, the story moved at too slow a pace, with not enough engaging moments to induce me. Told entirely through journal entries, military logs or letters, written by five different characters during two time periods, the focus was most definitely shared and, at times, rather passive. The characters were interesting, but lacked depth with me feeling I didn't get to know them very well. However, the descriptions of the climate and surroundings of life in Alaska at the time was well done.

This book is well written, if at times, overly descriptive and a little drawn out.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

1 comment:

Mystica said...

I like the setting of this one.