I really struggled to get into The Fugitive Wife, the story of one woman’s journey to gold-mining Nome, Alaska to escape her abusive husband, Leonard, after the death of their son, Gabriel. The novel is divided into four sections with the first discussing the trail to Nome, the second Essie’s son, the third about Leonard’s journey to Nome, and the fourth the end to this very weak story. It’s a very slow read, and a difficult one to slog through at that.
The story does pick up once The Fugitive Wife begins to focus on the characters, though. I found the part about Gabriel, Essie’s son who never fully develops on one side, to be the most interesting and endearing part of this novel. The first part really sets the stage for a story in Nome about the gold rush, but the story doesn’t take place in Nome and that’s the real shame. I thought I would be reading a story placed in Alaska, a place I haven’t visited with my reading in a while, or about Alaskan people but it’s just not the case. And the novel ends very weakly.
- Brown, Peter C. The Fugitive Wife. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. Print. 408 pgs. ISBN: 9780393061109. Source: Library.