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Thursday, September 9, 2010


This book is really an adventure.  Set in 1900, it moves back and forth between Minnesota farmland, and the gold rush at Nome, Alaska.  Claims are jumped, fortunes are made, and dreams are shattered, all against the wild backdrop of the eastern Alaskan shorelines.  I really feel this is a great read for both men and women.  The main character is Essie, a capable young farm woman who flees her abusive husband and runs about as far away as she can get.  But she ends up in a man's world; a place teeming with machinery and men of all stripes.  As all the newcomers establish a foothold in this landscape that is so foreign to them, Essie's story unfolds, as does that of her husband, Leonard, and her new love interest, Nate.  This is not as heavy and political as, say, The Poisonwood Bible, but is every bit as adventurous and well researched.  The author's grandfather was a gold prospector in Nome, Alaska, from 1900-1902.  The amount of detail in the times and places was woven seamlessly in, and just made everything even more colorful.  The link for the book is here and it's got some great photos and author comments.  Just a really entertaining read, and with some beautiful, cut-glass phrasing to boot.  Highly recommended.   p.s.  A complementary movie to watch would be "Sweet Land" an absolutely wonderful movie set in MN.

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