Read The Fugitive Wife by Peter C. Brown Online


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 thaThe 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. Reading group guide included....

Title : The Fugitive Wife
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393329759
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Fugitive Wife Reviews

  • Mary-Frances
    2019-05-19 05:05

    I struggled with this. It was good - but the language seemed a bit flowery - like the author was trying to sound upity. It read like a story about a woman that was written by a man - a bit of a stretch. Interesting - but a bit lacking in historical information to be a historical novel and missing in romance to be a romance. Hmmmmmm....

  • Diane
    2019-05-10 10:59

    Wonderful book- well researched, beautifully written. The characters think, act, and speak like people of their time, and the story unfolds with an emotional richness and compelling detail that invites the reader into a complicated and non-romanticized past.

  • Kaye
    2019-05-03 10:17

    I had a difficult time slogging through this book. Overall I didn't enjoy the characters or feel their plights.

  • Lois
    2019-05-16 08:17

    My kind of historical fiction: adventure, conflicted attachment, and the opportunity to be in a place and time I have an interest in due to my genealogical research. "Fugitive Wife" covered a lot of ground in that regard. Other reviewers thought the start was 'slow' but I loved experiencing the richness and deprivations of Minnesota farming at the turn of the century. Nana grew up in such a place and her Dad ended up selling off and moving to California. Then there is the gold rush in Alaska. The Conyer relations ended up working on mail delivery as our Essie does in this story. Liked the characters and the plotting as well as the feeling of being there. My dear McCoys, you might enjoy reading this.

  • Jennifer Creighton
    2019-04-30 05:58

    Often books by men written in a woman's voice don't ring true, but this one did. His descriptions of character and place are evocative - I got cold reading about prospecting in Alaska and the short, cold and wet season the men had to do the work. The relationships between characters grows naturally and the author's word choices make it all come to life.

  • Nick Nelson
    2019-04-29 10:55

    Abandoned it :/

  • David
    2019-05-07 11:48

    Not my thing

  • Shin Machine
    2019-05-09 11:09

    --Shin's Book Review--Title: The Fugitive WifeAuthor: Peter C. BrownRating: 1.02 star over 5-----------------------i did not like this book.and frankly i am wondering if anybody ever did.i mean, this is one of those books who does not belong to any genre at all (in a bad way. i mean, The Wind-Up Chronicle cant be put in a single genre, yet i found it amazing)this, i think, is NOT a romance novel (not romantic at all. except the love scenes. and the way Essie contemplated over Leonard's death) and is definitely NOT adventure(since there wasn't any adventure, besides their dull voyages with the ship names written in Italic form) and NOT a tragedy either (a slutty woman losing a child and a husband and then getting impregnated by another guy isn't 'tragic' for me).the way Mr.Brown wrote it is DEAD. can't even get me focused on what he's writing. it wasn't fun. the business-like and trading conversations are not as exciting as it would seem. not 'manly' or 'clever' at all. just a bunch of men who make deals and whatnots. the plot; a woman running from his perverted husband and meeting a new guy seems like a thrill (reason why i bought this book) but once you're done with the first part, you know you're doomed to more as-dull-as-a-lifeless-farm read.another question going through my mind is to what reading audience is this book GIRLS? surely they'd be interested in the setting and synopsis, but once they enter Essie's world, surely they'd return to their players and listen to MEN? damn. which boy would ever be curious about a book entitled 'The Fugitive Wife'? (besides me..?)i hope i don't sound 'arrogant' or bad at all in this review.apologies to those who said they had 'loved' this book.

  • Jules
    2019-05-16 05:10

    I really liked this novel. It's interesting for me to see that reviews and ratings of this book are all over the map.The Fugitive Wife started out slow (the first 40 or so pages), and I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. However, as Essie's and Leonard's background stories are told and the plot in Nome develops, the story becomes very engaging. I loved the diverse cast of characters, and appreciated that they were all complex. (view spoiler)[Leonard is a phony and a drunk, Essie and Leonard get pregnant before marriage, Nate's gold endeavor is a failure, Essie and Nate have an affair although both are officially committed to someone else (hide spoiler)]... Lots of wrongdoing, yet all of these characters are human, and, I thought, sympathetic at times. It would have been easy to make Leonard purely evil or Nate a knight in shining armor, but the author resisted cliches and flat characters. I never would have imagined finding Nome's gold rush boom fascinating, but I did; especially Essie's success as a business woman providing goods that the miners needed. The Fugitive Wife was a great time/place story, for lovers of historical novels like myself.

  • Stacey
    2019-05-02 12:10

    My local library featured a display of books associated with Jack London, wolves, Alaska and etc. during its "Big Read" campaign and the title and cover of this book caught my attention. I picked it up and read the blurb and decided to give it a shot.I really enjoyed the novel and I would recommend it. I immediately liked the main male character, Nate, from the start and I also liked the main female character, Essie. The only negative thing I have to say about it is I always hate it when I'm reading a novel and I come to a part where I say to myself, "a man had to write this." I'm not a prude, but I really dislike gratuitous sexual inuendo. If you're going to write something sexual, I think it should have some kind of purpose and not just be there because it turns you on.Toward the end of the book, I had to keep reading to see how it was going to turn out. I especially disliked one of Essie's (she is the main female character) decisions toward the end of the novel. I wanted to yell at her, "No!!! Don't do that!!! Have you not learned anything?!!!" But in the end, it turned out OK.I would say more, but I don't want to give anything away.

  • Annette LeBox
    2019-05-05 03:48

    The Fugitive Wife Unforgettable characters, adventure, and powerful symbolism makes The Fugitive Wife a must read. Although the story is slow to start, after about fifty pages, I found the book impossible to put down. You’ll never forget Essie, the farm girl from the American Midwest, who flees to Alaska to escape from her creepy husband, Leonard, who comes after her. When she finds herself attracted to Nate Deacon, she must choose between what she considers her duty as Leonard’s wife, and her love for Nate. The Fugitive Wife is both a love story and an adventure story; this gives it a broad appeal to both men and women. My husband read the novel first and thought I would enjoy it, although it isn’t the kind of book that I usually read (i.e. historical fiction that takes place during the Gold Rush in 1900 to 1902). He was right. The Fugitive Wife is one of my favorite novels this year. Essie’s story will stay with you long after you close the cover of this book. I highly recommend it.

  • Christina
    2019-05-15 05:11

    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.

  • Lori
    2019-04-27 05:55

    This one started out slowly for me and I wasn't sure I'd like it, but after the first couple of chapters I was hooked. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, but something about the settings in this book was very appealing to me - the stark Midwest, Alaska - neither of which was made very attractive by the author. The main character, Esther, is strong and brave, and it's impossible not to care what happens to her. The dialogue in the first 3/4 of the book was very annoying - abbreviated sentences made the characters sound just a little better than cavemen - but for whatever reason they begin speaking complete sentences later on and I think that's when I started to relate to them. Reminded me of The Shipping News and I can see this being made into a movie (I'm thinking Nicole Kidman as Esther, Joaquin Phoenix as Leonard, and someone handsome and strapping as Nate).

  • Lexi
    2019-04-27 09:05

    I made it through. And during the second reading I actually was able to get into the story. I was able to picture the farms surrounded by woods, the 1900 look of Seattle's waterfront, and imagine the vastness (and dirtiness) of Nome as a mining town thrown together. I enjoyed the story of it. It was written about so many things I was unfamiliar with, so I found myself skimming some of the pages. This woman, Esther, head strong and intelligent got sucked into a life that changed when her husbands drinking increased. Although toward the end you heard that maybe she wasn't the easiest woman the whole time, and that omissions in earlier writing were made to foster your support of her. I like the implied ended of this book, although was disappointed that there wasn't another "part" to this book with how she got to the East coast and her reunion with her "mister".

  •  Npldirector
    2019-05-19 10:07

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, thought it was a great story and the author created really likable characters. The setting was particularly well drawn, her description of Essie's first glimpse of Nome was perfecta “jumble of white rectangles spilled down the coast like cubed sugar, crawling with life” A perfect setting for someone tough and tenacious like Essie. The dilemmas faced by Essie near the end seemed real to me and I like the way the author let her resolve them : real life is complicated, love is not really that simple.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-26 10:50

    An outline of this story would be interesting. The characters began with potential but didn't really take off. It was as if the author were trying to add the unknown details but couldn't quite imagine them fully, and the story/characters lack because of it. The note at the end tells that the story is based on family history and shows that the time and place were well researched, both of which add some historical significance. However, the story itself -people looking for meaning, love, place- wasn't quite convincing.

  • Bobbi
    2019-04-28 10:11

    We recently traveled to Alaska so when I picked up this book about Nome, it sparked my interest. I was surprised at how much I liked it and how well written it is. I'd never heard of the author before and discovered that this is his first work of fiction. It's really a love story following the protagonist as she leaves her husband in the "lower 48" and signs up with a gold mining company headed for Nome in 1900. It describes the tough life miners had and how few of them actually found a significant amount of gold. A good read for a lazy day or summer reading.

  • Linda
    2019-04-30 04:13

    I found the first 1/3 of this book interesting and the last 1/3 was great but the middle focused so much on her husband - who is just a gross character - that it kind of dragged the book down for me. I really liked the book and the main character was so great. I really want to give the book four stars because it was interesting and a good read and I can't stop thinking about it, but that middle part of the book was disappointing.

  • Julie
    2019-05-07 04:01

    In 1900, north MN farm wife leaves a disappointing marriage to go live in Washington state with her sister. Instead, she winds up on a freighter bound for Alaska and the Gold Rush. Interesting character studies of both the husband and wife outlining their strengths and weaknesses. Leaves you never liking the husband but not hating him and rooting for her but angry with her decisions and sense of duty.

  • Diane
    2019-05-13 11:09

    I liked Esther's story the best. I think the novel would have been stronger focusing only on her and not telling the other points of view. We got just as good a picture of the other characters from Esther's point of view. weak ending. started slow with all kinds of junk about setting out for Alaska. got better when the author started focusing on the characters. Then he could throw in all the historical detail he wanted without it getting in the way as it sometimes did.

  • Kayla Tornello
    2019-05-21 06:17

    I loved the different settings in this story. Esther, the main character, starts out life on a Minnesota farm at the turn of the century. Then she ends up running away from her life with the gold miners heading to Alaska. The details of early Alaskan gold mining were fascinating. Other than Esther, the characters weren't particularly well-developed, but I was able to overlook that in my enjoyment of the setting.

  • Charlene
    2019-05-08 08:56

    A very well-written novel about a woman who leaves her Minnesota home to head west and ends up in Alaska during the gold rush days. She cares for the horses and delivers mail and supplies to the miners as she discovers providing these services is more lucrative than gold mining. It's a story of leaving the past to build a new future, until the past returns and demands a final accounting. Wonderful details about Alaska and the lives of those who sought riches during the gold rush years.

  • Sharon
    2019-04-20 07:54

    This is an unusual story of a woman who grows up in Minnesota, but ends up fleeing her husband and going to Alaska. Full of details about sea travel and mining - almost as vivid as a movie. Some disturbing scenes around her family, I'm not sure I would enjoy it so much now that I'm a mom, but at the time I read it I found it very absorbing.

  • Annette
    2019-04-30 05:51

    Little misleading - I was expecting a story of the north with a love story thrown in, but it was really a love story. Good when the author was story-telling... little disappointed in the ending, almost anti-climatic. Different look at the "bad guy" who was really trying his best, in his own to be good. Overall not a bad book.

  • Debbie
    2019-05-12 08:03

    This is a wonderful 1900's journey from the farmlands of Minnesota, to Seattle, then onto Nome Alaska during the height of the "Gold Rush". Story of love, commitment, courage, strength and wisdom. I found the dialogue and narration intriguing and powerful as the image of this time in history reeled me in.

  • Carlin
    2019-04-23 10:00

    I liked reading about the time period, the gold rush in Alaska, and the main characters. But the second half gets slow and drawn out and it looses its momentum. You feel their courage and strength, the wilderness and the adventure all in the beginning and then it looses that in the end. The characters loose their fight and conviction and so does the book.

  • Nancy Stevenson
    2019-05-14 10:00

    Wonderful, well-written novel of Alaska in the 1900 gold rush, featuring a woman who goes there from Minnesota. The history of the time seems authentic, the characters are all clearly drawn, the dialogue is true to the period. Very satisfactory. [Warning: There are a few disturbing scenes involving animals.]

  • Jane Petermeier
    2019-05-03 12:11

    An interesting tale about gold mining in the Alaskan territory. It involves a young woman who moves west, escaping her husband, and making a way for her self. (strong female character, love that!) Leonard, the husband she left behind, he's a real snake. The snake???, well he's a real "leonard"! If that doesn't intrigue you, well...

  • Anh Diem
    2019-04-23 11:50

    While reading this book, I sailed from Seatlle to Alaska, I lived the hard life of farmers in Minesota, and i did some bird watching in remote Alaska. The main character is a formidable woman, i liked her a lot. She was in two hot romances with two guys. This is a first-book effort. I will read this author again.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-06 10:14

    This is a historical fiction book about life in Nome, Alaska during the start of the gold rush (1900). I enjoyed this book, but if I was not reading it while in Alaska, it probably would have been a little slow and not as interesting to me.