To the Bright Edge of the World

To the Bright Edge of the World

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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One of the Best Books of 2016--Amazon
A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016
A Goodreads Choice Award Nominee
A Library Journal Top 10 Book of 2016
A BookPage Best Book of 2016

An atmospheric, transporting tale of adventure, love, and survival from the bestselling author of The Snow Child , finalist for the Pulitzer Prize .

In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn't return--once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there's no telling what awaits him.

The Wolverine River Valley is not only breathtaking and forbidding but also terrifying in ways that the colonel and his men never could have imagined. As they map the territory and gather information on the native tribes, whose understanding of the natural world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his men discover the blurred lines between human and wild animal, the living and the dead. And while the men knew they would face starvation and danger, they cannot escape the sense that some greater, mysterious force threatens their lives.

Meanwhile, on her own at Vancouver Barracks, Sophie chafes under the social restrictions and yearns to travel alongside her husband. She does not know that the winter will require as much of her as it does her husband, that both her courage and faith will be tested to the breaking point. Can her exploration of nature through the new art of photography help her to rediscover her sense of beauty and wonder?

The truths that Allen and Sophie discover over the course of that fateful year change both of their lives--and the lives of those who hear their stories long after they're gone--forever.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316242851
Branch Call Number: FIC IVE
Characteristics: 417 pages : illustrations (some colour), map ; 25 cm

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AL_ANNAL Dec 14, 2017

An engaging historical novel based loosely on the 1885 expedition of Lt. Henry T. Allen to ascend the Copper River into Interior Alaska and westward, 1,500 miles into the wilderness. I gained renewed admiration for New World explorers, dependent on the kindness of the natives and cooperation of the elements and their own skill and strength. The story of Col. Allen Forrester and his wife Sophie gives you a feel for army life in 1885, the role of women, and the beginnings of avian photography. Magical themes from Alaskan folklore add to the richness.

d
DeltaQueen50
Dec 11, 2017

To The Bright Edge of the World tells the story of a husband and wife, separated by circumstances yet both describing their new experiences in the form of journal entries. The story is further enhanced by other letters, newspaper articles and photographs that gives this tale a cohesiveness and brings the reader a true sense of learning more about the history of Alaska.

This is a great adventure story about discovery and survival. With it's compelling plot and a fantastic setting the author has delivered her story with exceptional writing skill. Ivey hasn’t totally abandoned the magical qualities that she likes to sprinkle throughout her writing but in this book she uses Indian folklore and mythical legends to bring that unexpected wonder to the story. This is an epic tale that captures the big picture with it’s sweeping vistas yet also hones in on the small details that makes this book also a touching love story.

b
becker
Dec 06, 2017

This story is a fictional historical account of Alaskan exploration with all the grandeur and hardship you would imagine a story set in Alaska would have. It is told through a series of narratives, letters and even newspaper ads and articles of the time which all serve to keep the story fresh and engaging. I thought the characters were all interesting and well formed and it was a wonderful peek at society in that time and place in history. I think it would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

o
OGBooktalk
Oct 05, 2017

In Kit Keeper with both regular and large print

CMLibrary_sdeason Oct 04, 2017

One of the best books of 2016. The balance between historical fiction and mysticism is entrancing. Highly recommended for book clubs.

a
ApollosRaven
Jun 02, 2017

Ivey's choice of the epistolary novel as her vehicle to tell this story was a wise one, connecting the two stories (his and hers) as their letters go back and forth. I spent a too-brief period in this part of Alaska many years ago -- her description really brought back vivid memories of the land. The touches of mystery/myth make the native peoples (with whom Forrester is able to communicate only partially) approachable and sympathetic for the reader - but was a big risk for the author, That she pulled it off successfully may explain why this is an author who is gaining an reputation internationally. I very much enjoyed this novel.

MissLauraStorytime Jan 04, 2017

Eowyn Ivey has written a novel that can be put into the same league as Edward Rutherfurd's New York: a Novel, and Ken Follett's Century trilogy. Multiple settings and characters are connected in both seen, and unseen, ways. People reveal themselves through the diaries and letters that are Ivey's chosen medium. Historical fiction intermingles with the spiritual world, and memories are seemingly alive. A tightly written saga that will be loved by those who like to be transported to different places, times, and worlds.

j
julia_sedai
Oct 11, 2016

It's been a while since I read a book that is journal entries, letters, newspaper clippings, etc. all making up a story, and I really liked it. There's a lot of beauty in this book. It's not just about an expedition, but about friendship, and love, the fantastic, and so much more. Some parts are slow but overall, I found it very entertaining. I recommend this book if you want to read something different.

SPL_Brittany Oct 01, 2016

I enjoyed Ivey's beautiful descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness, stories of friendship, endurance and survival in the harsh and unforgiving climate, as well as learning about Alaska's indigenous people, their culture and legends the Colonel and his team encountered during his expedition.

This is a very leisurely read that will require many cups of tea, that will transport you into another time and place. Readers who enjoy novels from multiple perspectives through diary entries, journals, letters and military logs will enjoy this novel.

m
mcdoff
Sep 22, 2016

Arlene suggested

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