*I received a free copy of At the Mountain's Edge from Simon & Schuster via ARC Publisher, Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *At the Mountain's Edge by Genevieve Graham
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 2, 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Historical Romance
Source: ARC Publisher, Netgalley
In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.
For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.
As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.
Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together, but also to survive.
At the Mountain’s Edge was a gripping story. GGraham once again takes on a period of time in Canadian history but one that is linked to American history as well. While I knew of the Klondike Gold Rush, I’d never given much thought to the treacherous conditions faced by the miners and merchants in chasing their fortune. Having read GGraham’s account here, I’m quite certain I’d not have had the mettle to survive. 😉
Liza Peterson’s family set off to Dawson City in hopes of prospering by opening a shop to sell supplies to the miners during the Klondike Gold Rush. Her father had sold the family on the idea of an “adventure of a lifetime”, which turned out to be much more adventurous than any of them had bargained for.
Ben Turner, a Constable for the North-West Mounted Police, has been assigned duty at the Chilkoot Train – the location all travelers must negotiate on the way to the minefields. He thought nothing was scarier than what he’d experienced growing up. The Yukon proved him wrong.
GGraham did a remarkable job with conveying the perilous conditions people faced while attempting to make their way through the Yukon in search of gold. Her descriptions of the cold, the wet, the silence, and the rigor were all visceral. The way she depicted those brave, crazy, and/or greedy souls who attempted this trek was also authentic in feel. Her detail regarding the Mounties – their duties, requirements, chain of command, etc. – was fascinating. I’d never considered the dangers of building up towns around mining…and I live in Colorado! Not only do they contend with nature – snow, flooding, avalanches and rock slides – but also with the evil side of man.
Bearing witness to the struggles, sacrifices, and losses Liza endures…seeing her fortitude and tenacity was awe-inspiring. Especially considering she didn’t realize her own strength. Seeing Ben battle the demons of his past as they affected his present made me sad and warmed my heart. These two not only persevered individually but also were generous of spirit and helped others. It was only natural they’d be drawn to one another. And I appreciated how GGraham accomplished it.
At the Mountain’s Edge was educational, thought-provoking, and made me even more of a fan of GGraham’s writing. My only complaints would be that they initial world building didn’t grip me immediately and towards the end I felt the pace was choppy. Therefore I had a little difficulty immersing myself in the story to begin with and I was taken out of the story at times near the end. But overall it was riveting, emotional, and wholly satisfying.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: