To the Bright Edge of the World

To the Bright Edge of the World

A Novel

Book - 2016
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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
0316242853
Branch Call Number: FIC IVEY, EOWYN
Characteristics: 417 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm

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m
michaelfwood
Oct 22, 2018

At page 100 you are intrigued. At page 200 you are fascinated. At page 300 you are completed captured. At page 400 you are . . . speechless. In your memory you will "read" this book for years.

m
maija_60
Sep 22, 2018

History, geography, suspense, mystery, love, can you ask for more!?
Very well written, a page turner!

b
brinyurchin
Jun 28, 2018

Adventure, relationships, character driven, history, great setting, well written: One of the better novels I've read in a while.

b
bbennett27
Jun 23, 2018

A profound and important novel that will likely change how you view history and nature. The author has woven a masterpiece that mashes fiction and fact and leads one to the inescapable conclusion that much of what we see is ultimately unknowable. The epilogue reveals what I suspected, that the book is loosely based on the exploration of AK by Henry Allen -- a feat that some consider to be greater than the Lewis and Clark expedition. But the book goes much farther, probing our very powers of observation and unearthing powerful questions about cultural preservation (Alaska Native lives were forever changed after miners and the military penetrated the Alaskan interior). Read this book and you will never look at Canada Geese the same way. Did I mention it is also an epic love story?

a
altybiz
Jun 06, 2018

I was so THERE in this novel, partly because of my many hours backpacking in the northwest, so I could easily visualize the environment, weather, etc. Got to love the main characters, each with their individual weaknesses well constructed by author. The mysticism was a kick for me. I thought Ivey made it as believable as possible given the times. Lovely book.

d
DorisWaggoner
Jun 01, 2018

This wonderful, heartfelt book covers, in one way, just the year of 1885, when Allen leads a small Army expedition to Alaska's Wolverine River (stand-in for the Copper River in an actual expedition that took place that year) while his pregnant wife Sophie is required to stay in Fort Vancouver. I loved the epistolary nature of the book, which includes not just letters, but journal entries, official reports, photographs, descriptions of artifacts, drawings, etc. The book has an overlay consisting of modern letters between Allen's great nephew, who has found in his attic the collections from 1885, and the curator of a small Alaskan museum he wants to send it to. This is both a historical novel and a love story, with a touch of magical realism to it as well. I loved it! I haven't read "The Snow Child," but now I will. Ivey is an incredible, poetic writer.

d
darladoodles
Apr 01, 2018

"She always keeps a part of herself a mystery." This quote about Alaska in one of the letters in the book sums it up. That is what allows good books about this state to be epic in proportion. The sky is the limit! The way Ivey combined journal entries, artifact descriptions, photographs, newsclippings, and more made this book a fascinating read. I highly recommend it!

From Allen Forrester's letter to his wife Sophie: "I can find no means to account for all that we have witnessed, except to say that I no longer certain of the boundaries between man & beast, of the living & the dead."

s
spiderfelt_0
Dec 26, 2017

There was just enough wonder and variety to prevent this book from being too saccharine. It isn't the sort of historical writing that normally captivates me, but I give the author credit for introducing the correspondence between two unlikely contemporary characters, and the historical artifacts. While I began by listening to the audiobook, I quickly became curious about the route taken by the explorers. The maps, photographs, news clippings and other items saved from the 1880s added an interesting layer to the story.

ArapahoeAnnaL 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.

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