To the Bright Edge of the World

To the Bright Edge of the World

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads an exploratory expedition up the Wolverine River and into the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn't return. As they map the territory and gather information on native tribes, whose understanding of the natural world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his team can't escape the sense that some great, mysterious force threatens their lives. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Sophie chafes under the social restrictions of a pregnant woman on her own, and yearns to travel alongside her husband. She, too, explores nature, through the new art of photography, unaware that the coming winter will test her own courage and faith to the breaking point. --
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316242851
Branch Call Number: FIC IVEY, EOWYN
Characteristics: 417 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

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.

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.

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.

Sep 22, 2016

Arlene suggested

Sep 20, 2016

This is a sophomore novel told with letters and journals based on a true story of a US army officer and schoolteacher - photographer separated by military exploration in Alaska in the 1880s. It's a wonderfully accessible and important experience of relationships with indigenous peoples, their legends and their nature.

multcolib_susannel Sep 18, 2016

When they venture into the uncharted land of love and death Lt. Col. Allen Forrester and his wife Sophia find their strength in their desire to understand- the world around them- and each other.

multcolib_dianaa Sep 12, 2016

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m a little heartbroken that I’ve finished it.
I loved the wild Alaskan setting in this novel about explorers in the 1880s, the threads of magical realism, and the deep consideration of the place and its history.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top