To the Bright Edge of the World

To the Bright Edge of the World

[a Novel]

Large Print - 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. -- adapted from book jacket.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2016
ISBN: 9781410492760
Branch Call Number: FICTION Ive
Description: 661 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

A novel composed of the letters between decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester, leading an exploratory expedition into the vast, untamed Alaska Territory in 1885, and his pregnant wife Sophie, yearning to travel and exploring nature as best she can through photography.

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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."

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.

AL_ANNAL 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.

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.

Dec 06, 2017

This story is a fictional historical account of Alaskan exploration with all the grandeur and hardship you would imagine a story set in Alaska would have. It is told through a series of narratives, letters and even newspaper ads and articles of the time which all serve to keep the story fresh and engaging. I thought the characters were all interesting and well formed and it was a wonderful peek at society in that time and place in history. I think it would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

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.

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