To the Bright Edge of the World

I was lucky enough to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It’s difficult to really give my opinion on this book because I can’t decide if I liked it or not. So maybe a list would help:

Things I liked:

-The book is set in, and describes the exploration of, Alaska. Previous to reading this, I didn’t know too much about this part of the world.

-The book is wonderfully written. Although tending towards over-description of nature sometimes, you cannot fault Eowyn Ivey for her talent.

-Multiple narrators is always a plus for me, however…….

Things I didn’t like:

-Possibly too many narrators. The main characters, Allen and Sophie, do the bulk of the storytelling with their journal entries. There are however letters exchanged between two modern-day characters, streams of consciousness from another explorer as well as excerpts from newspapers and other reports. Some of these were fascinating, but I felt it was just a bit too patchy.

-I found Sophie’s story pretty dull. I like the fact that she was strong minded in following her interests and not pandering to the chattering classes. The photographic and bird descriptions were tedious for me.

Overall I would neither recommend this book nor deter anyone from reading it. I learned quite a bit, which I always appreciate; and the quality of writing made up for the fact that I wasn’t always interested in the story.


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