Published in 2016 by Tinder Press | Four Feathers
This is set during the mid-1880s, and the story is mainly told from three different perspectives. On the one hand, we follow Allen Forrester, who travels to Alaska to explore the unchartered land along the Wolverine River. On the other, there is his wife Sophie who is left behind at the Vancouver Barracks in Washington. We also follow the correspondence between Sophie’s and Allen’s descendant Walt, and Josh who works at a museum in Alaska.
2017 seems to have started out as a strong reading year for me, because I liked this book very much. Sophie and Josh became my favourite characters, and I especially liked reading about Sophie’s character development – it was so nice to see her grow into herself and pursue her own interests while Allen was away.
Even though I didn’t root for Allen as much, I really enjoyed reading about Alaska, with its wilderness and all the strange things going on.
That said, I do feel as if Ivey half-forgot about the Old Man in the middle before “suddenly” reintroducing him towards the end, but I can’t decide if that might have been intentional. Also, the ending could have been drawn out a little bit more – the rest of the story had been allowed to take the space it needed, so a few extra pages for the ending wouldn’t have hurt. However, that might just be me who didn’t want the book to end.
The format was another thing I liked about this book. It’s told through letters and diary entries, with the occasional photo thrown in. I think that adds another dimension to the story, because you get into the characters’ heads in a completely different way and it makes it more difficult to know what is real and what is not.
Though this wasn’t punch-you-in-the-gut good, I still liked it a lot, and maybe – just maybe – will it make a favourites list sometime during the year.