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This Godforsaken Place

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The year is 1885 and Abigail Peacock is resisting what seems to be an inevitable future—a sensible career as a teacher and marriage to the earnestly attentive local storeowner.

But then she buys a rifle, and everything changes.

This Godforsaken Place is the absorbing tale of one tenacious woman’s journey set against the dramatic backdrop of the Canadian Wilderness and Americ
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Brindle Glass (first published June 1st 2015)
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Cinda Gault I thought about this fleetingly as I was picturing my characters. I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise, but I was picturing Clint Eastwood as Shep…moreI thought about this fleetingly as I was picturing my characters. I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise, but I was picturing Clint Eastwood as Shep January. Anyone else have suggestions for Abigail, Shea, Annie, and Gabriel?(less)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  64 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
this book has been out for a month and there are still no reviews for it. which is pretty telling. i read an arc of it last fall, so i'm drawing upon my long-ago memories of it and the notes and foldy-pages in my copy, but it didn't really leave much of an impression on me. and now i learn that my inability to review it has hindered erica in her professional life, which makes me even more guilty-feeling. <---- that's what i wrote three months ago, after erica made me feel guilty. and i STILL man ...more
i reviewed this book in ARC form here, but i was told that it had changed significantly before its final, published version. which of course made me feel bad because i am someone who feels bad, so i read it again. and here we are.

it definitely has changed from the version i read, and it's somewhat more interesting, but it turns out that the things that were changed weren't really the things i personally had issues with. however, i will say that it is much easier to write a review for a book whe
Reid McNaughton
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This Godforsaken Place is a well-paced work of historical fiction, incorporating such well known characters from Canadian and American history as Gabriel Dumont and Annie Oakley (as well as Louis Riel and Bill Cody) in ways the reader will never suspect. Obviously meticulously researched, it is penned in the voice of an independent, educated female protagonist — Abigail Peacock — who discovers over the course of the novel that she desires to escape the predictability and monotony of her new worl ...more
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Best book I have read in a long time. Google the title for positive blog reviews. Loved the dilemmas confronted by a protagonist who had choice in a new world. Appreciated the richness of the historical context. Historical characters seemed as "alive" as the fictional ones. A compelling read worth revisiting and recommending to friends.
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author knows how to keep you hooked. I shared in Abigail's excitement as she learned to shoot, and enjoyed the twists and turns as she set off on her own. It was also nice to learn more about the history of Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, and the Métis.

The author's ability to use the protagonist, Abigail, to develop a personal connection between the reader and other characters was the shining light of the book: first, with Abigail's horse, Abe, then with Shep January, and finally, Annie Oakley.

Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
A young British woman emigrates with her father to a godforsaken town in Northern Ontario in the 1880s. There, he contracts tuberculosis and dies, ever so slowly, forcing her to take over his school teaching job and try to evade a plodding but relentless suitor. Through chance, she learns she likes to shoot and while practicing her sharpshooting, kills a man and comes into a fortune. Soon, she's headed south across the border to join Cody's Wild West show.

This a godforsaken mess of a novel. Whi
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a unique book. The culture-shocked immigrant, Abigail, could be forgiven if she wanted to be rescued after her father died. Instead, she sets off on a quest. Although the preface, in her words, suggests that she seeks the values that lead to principled living, it seemed to me that she yearned for something more out of life than what was available to your average school marm. Everyone she encounters along her epic journey-from the outlaw cowboy, Shep January, to the champion sharpshooter, ...more
Ryley Liddle
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic historical narrative that brings together Canadian and American historical figures- Annie Oakley, Gabriel Dumont and Bill Cody- with the fictional heroine we all want to be- Abigail Peacock. Many think that the Riel Rebellion and the Wild West were two separate things, but the author does a fantastic job intertwining the two in such a wonderful narrative you can't help but continue reading.

The novel is set in 1885 where main character Abigail Peacock is resisting what seems to be an
Monique McNaughton
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book a year or so ago when it first came out. The main character, Abigail, and her moral dilemmas and choices have often come to mind since then. The book follows Abigail on her solitary journey - both literal and inner - from the wilderness of northwestern Ontario to the consumer version of the wild west - The Bill Cody Show in New York.

I enjoyed how the author wove the Jesse James Gang, Annie Oakley and the Riel Rebellion, into Abigail’s story. I was inspired to read more about the
coty ⚡
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, best
well..... I didn't expect to love this as much as I did. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction and tend to shy away from it, but I'm glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give this a try because.. man, it was good. it's a slow-burn of a story, not overly action-packed and rather tightly structured, but the layout works incredibly well for the plot; the little facts of Canadian history sprinkled in at times tend to feel rather like a nonfiction book, but they were interesting enough ...more
Lesley Hannell
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book. It gave a combination of historical information and literary fiction and created a gripping story that kept me wanting to turn the next page. The main character is a strong and likeable woman in a time when it was "a man's world" and her character develops as the story progresses so we can see her courage and determination. Interesting historical characters like Annie Oakley liven the story up and give an element of truth. The story also depicts some interesting aspe ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This Godforsaken Place is an engaging story about independence -- of thought and of action. Our heroine, Abigail, is trapped in Northern Ontario. As the walls begin closing in, her father's death and the appearance of a wounded cowboy present an opportunity to break free. And she takes it. You come to this book for the historical drama. But you keep coming back for the rich, fully realized heroes. You'll love the horse too. Five stars.
Jocelyn Bullock
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's historical relevance was excellent. The main character will hold you captivated. One can't help but be inspired by her grit and determination and enthralled by the circumstances she finds herself in. An excellent illustration of a strong woman in a historical context.
Andrea Acri
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love an adventure story. I especially love an adventure story starring interesting, well-developed characters. This book delivers that. I was drawn into the story by the power of the Abigail's personality. I learned a good bit of Canadian history along the way. Thoroughly enjoyable read.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great story that builds to the playing out of the big questions. What does justice mean? What is our responsibility in the face of it mean? What has it meant at different points in history?
I just loved Abigail, it was a real page turner for me.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such an original take on a woman's life in the 19th century! The prose was surprising--I loved the turns of phrase that were unexpected but perfect, particularly as the characters and plat developed. Highly recommend!!
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"This Godforsaken Place" weaves well-researched historical events into the lives of the protagonist and her fellow characters. The intertwining of the characters' lives with one another provides an even deeper dimension to the entire story, which unfolds sometimes slowly in a way the reader can savour the details and at other times fast-paced, where the reader can get caught up in the action of the events. Fantastic storytelling!
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Slow to start and end I'd recommend this only for dedicated Canadian history buffs. I enjoyed how the author was able to link the Riel Rebellion with Bill Cody and Susanna Moodie. Almost a who's who of famous Canadian figures. It's inspired me to want to know more about the real Annie Oakley. But I don't know that the narrative itself, without this backdrop, is rich enough to draw a person in.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Initially interesting, then loses its grip over time. It seems borderline political and yet somehow manages to remain boring.
Tracy Kobus
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