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Paperback Fugitive Wife Book

ISBN: 0393329755

ISBN13: 9780393329759

Fugitive Wife

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

The year is 1900 in gold-prospecting Alaska. Essie, a Midwestern farm girl fleeing from a stormy marriage, joins up with prospectors bound for Nome, where the golden sands teem with dreamers, schemers, and high rollers. When Leonard, Essie's stubborn and volatile husband, travels north, astonishing scenes of pursuit, sacrifice, and crucial decision rise to a conclusion that is both surprising and inevitable. Powerfully evoking a past world and the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Storytelling At Its Finest

Don't get this book if your main goal is reading about Alaska--that's what nonfiction is for. Buy this book because you love a good, well-told story, because you're addicted to complex, complicated, compelling characters. The Fugitive Wife is a superior novel, wrought with some of the most gorgeous language being crafted in contemporary fiction. The fact that you get lots of juicy inside-info on the history of gold mining in Alaska at the turn of the century is icing on the cake of this pulse-pounding adventure. But the true adventure involves the life or death leaps of the human heart, the risk-taking of trusting your instincts, the thrill-ride of giving yourself over to love that answers back as selflessly as it's given. For the cover price of this book, you get in return a journey you'll never forget, with characters who will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

A New Great American Story

The Fugitive Wife is a rewarding saga reminiscent in some ways of great American stories of the nineteenth century such as Moby Dick, or The Scarlet Letter. It is a story rich in historical detail, with complicated and flawed characters wrestling with passions, adversities, and moral dilemmas. The author, Peter Brown, creates vivid visual scenes for the reader and more important has a great gift for hearing and rendering his characters' unique voices. The story is principally that of Essie who bears with and then finally leaves the husband who has near ruined her life. She casts her lot with men and women forging a way in a new frontier. But the story is also about the man left behind, his anguish and the shadow it casts on the future.

One Fabulous Novel

There is so much to savor here I know I'll read THE FUGITIVE WIFE again. With the authority of careful research and the grace of a gifted storyteller, Peter Brown gives us a window to history, a love triangle, an unforgettable tale. He parcels out the narrative, telling just enough to make the three main characters, Essie, Nate and Leonard, vivid and compelling, while holding back pieces we're both itching and afraid to know. We meet Guppy Totman, Plug Jefferson and so many other zany souls, Charles Dickens could take a lesson. Brown guides us expertly through century-old worlds of farming, trapping, chicken husbandry, mining and more. His language is rich and in tune with its time, and I stopped often to read a beautifully crafted paragraph twice, or three times. "Abiding." Watch for this pitch-perfect, one-word sentence. The countless, lyrical phrases Brown finds to describe the sky, water, ships setting sail. Nuggets of heart-baring insight, dug deep from emotionally restrained characters. And humor. You will laugh out loud at the "five erect fingers of mortuary fortune," and more. I'll warn you: a very creepy snake inhabits this novel. And, like the rest of THE FUGITIVE WIFE, Peter Brown brings it masterfully to life.

It's Not all Black and White

I just loved this book mostly because the author helps us to see the shades of gray in both the most virtuous and the most sinister of the main characters in his book: Essie and Leonard. I don't want to give anything away, but it's so nice to not have everything wrapped up so neatly as it is so often in many novels. I will recommend this to my book group and can see a great discussion ensuing on loyalty in marriage, the nature of love, good & evil...everything we love to talk about!! Also loved to learn about the gold rush in Alaska at the turn of the century. P.S. I think Nicole Kidman is too frail and delicate for the lead part in the movie...much better role for Renee Zellweger.

This will be a movie

Yes, I think there's a great movie here, but Hollywood needs to be true to the book. Not sure who the male leads would be but Julia Roberts would be Essie. Or maybe Nicole Kidman. Oh, I guess Ralph Fiennes could be Nate because he's kind of quirky about birds. One of the goofy Baldwin brothers (can't think of his name but it's not Alex) could be Leonard. Fugitive Wife is a great title and makes you want to know more. I saw it in an airport book shop, paid full price, and by gosh the story didn't disappoint. It felt so real to me. I could visualize scenes, like the ship SS Madsen sitting off the Nome harbor, with the tents and equipment of the many gold prospectors strewn across the beach. I truly fell for Essie, and rooted for her and Nate. When the story shifts to life on the farm, before Essie's gold rush adventure, it opens up a terrific view of life a hundred years ago that most know nothing about. You will not be able to anticipate the ending. Just savor the pages and know that you will be sorry when they're all gone.
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