Julie Christine's Reviews > To The Bright Edge of the World

To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
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A few nights ago at the bar (Side note for context, I'm Cellar Master and sommelier at a resort; writer by trade, but my publishers don't offer health insurance or 401(k)s, 'kay? So I get to indulge in great conversations at the bar whilst making Manhattans) I got into a discussion about the intersection of fact and fiction when writing the historical novel. Having written a novel that was inspired by historical events, but which took a broad sweep into fantasy, I love the interplay of research and imagination, the bending and occasional snapping clean through of rules, the sublimation of fact for the flight of fancy.

So it's no surprise that I adored Eowyn Ivey's To The Bright Edge of the World. Based on the real expedition of Alaska's Copper River in 1885 by Lt. Henry Allen, Ivey's fictional band of soldiers, traders, and Native Alaskans seeks to chart the wild Wolverine. Ivey crafts a brilliant collection of letters, journal entries, and official dispatches that tell the story of men in nature, in all their bravery, stupidity, curiosity and arrogance.

This is a braided narrative, showing both the expedition into the Alaskan wild led by Col. Allen Forrester and the expedition of a woman on her own in the rough and lonely Pacific Northwest-Forrester's young wife, Sophie, who remains behind at Fort Vancouver. Ivey also deftly weaves a modern thread of correspondence between a Forrester descendent and a museum curator who moves from bewildered to enthralled at the collection he has been given. His growing awareness of the importance of this story become the clearing window through which the reader views the past.

To The Bright Edge of the World has all the makings of a grand adventure story: sweeping, brutal, storied terrain, dangers that lurk in the rivers and glaciers, emerging from blizzards and dense forest; dangers that surface in the madness of starving frightened men; primeval forces more terrifying and powerful than the madness of men and Mother Nature . And yet, this narrative offers something more than a wilderness epic and a survival journey: it shows how the human spirit shifts and is shaped by desperation, love, and the contours of the land.

Eowyn Ivey's prose is lovely to behold- at once lyrical and lucid. She is a master storyteller, holding us captive with the force of her imagination and a warmth of her literary heart.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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Reading Progress

October 13, 2016 – Shelved
October 13, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
November 23, 2016 – Started Reading
December 3, 2016 –
page 28
6.71% "GAH! I had to set this aside to meet my copyedit deadline. Deadline met, but then the book was due at the library and there is a queue waiting. I didn't want to be *that* person, so I returned it on time. Now I'M in the queue, waiting for my second chance. It's so good. Just, life, you know?"
December 13, 2016 –
page 111
26.62% "Insomnia isn't all bad, right? Finally had a chance for some serious page-turning here!"
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: native-american
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: pacific-northwest
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: imagined-worlds
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: american-west
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: best-of-2016
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
December 14, 2016 – Shelved as: usa-historical
December 14, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Dianne (new) - added it

Dianne Terrific review, Julie! On a side note, it's on sale for Kindle for $2.99 today 12/24. I'm not sure it's best read on a Kindle, though. A lot of visuals.


message 2: by JZ (new) - added it

JZ NJ Also, just purchased $2.99 kindle version yesterday


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol Nice review yet I was more interested in your bar job. Didn't know this but enjoyed reading the why and the what. I have this book on my shelves. Need to get to it.


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