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 variable territory of the heart, this novel establishes Peter C. Brown as a consummate storyteller.
"A gripping story about the search for gold, for love; for the discovery of honor and the mysteries of the human heart."
-Paulette Jiles, author of Enemy Women
"Peter C. Brown's robust saga of gold prospectors drawn north to Nome is the richest kind of storytelling. You will not forget the lives met here, those thrown-together fortune seekers who left behind marriage, betrothal, family, and ultimately so much else in one of the great American quests."
-Ivan Doig, author of The Sea Runners
"This is compelling and entertaining history, a stay-up-all-night read. You'll never forget Essie and her journey to freedom. I haven't rooted this hard for characters since Cold Mountain. Peter C. Brown is certainly one of the best new writers of historical fiction on the American scene today."
-Jonis Agee, author of The Weight of Dreams
"The Fugitive Wife is emotionally accurate and filled with splendors. The strong characters remind us that only a hundred years ago we were a nation of adventurers, in love not only with the natural paradise but with the risks and chances of reward. Gold in Alaska, a quest complimented by love? They went for it, and couldn't resist."
William Kittredge, author of The Hole in the Sky
"In one compelling scene after another, Peter Brown brings the Far North vividly close. His characters, presented with even-handed compassion, face impossible choices and chilling emotional and physical tests as they try to mine and mend a life for themselves. They show that in the harshest of conditions, understanding can grow."
-Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue
"Told with old-fashioned brio and dead-eye skill, The Fugitive Wife gives us everything we could ask for in a novel: romance, high adventure, diamond-cut prose, and a story that traverses the great American Landscape."
-Brady Udall, author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint