This Godforsaken Place

This Godforsaken Place❰Reading❯ ➸ This Godforsaken Place Author Cinda Gault – The year is 1885 and Abigail Peacock is resisting what seems to be an inevitable future—a sensible career as a teacher and marriage to the earnestly attentive local storeownerBut then she buys a rif The year is and Abigail Peacock is resisting what seems to be an inevitable future—a sensible career as a teacher and marriage to the earnestly attentive local storeownerBut then she buys a rifle and everything changes This Godforsaken Place is the absorbing tale of one tenacious woman’s journey set against the dramatic backdrop of the Canadian Wilderness and American Wild West Told by four narrators—including Annie Oakley and Gabriel Dumont—Abigail’s story brings the high stakes of the New World into startling focus. this book has been out for a month and there are still no reviews for it which is pretty telling i read an arc of it last fall so i'm drawing upon my long ago memories of it and the notes and foldy pages in my copy but it didn't really leave much of an impression on me and now i learn that my inability to review it has hindered erica in her professional life which makes me even guilty feeling that's what i wrote three months ago after erica made me feel guilty and i STILL managed to make zero progress with this review many of the books that have been awaiting reviews on this here windowsill have been review procrastinated because i didn't feel i had anything to say about them this one than most and now finally there IS a review on here for the book which mirrors some of my own thoughts there's nothing wrong with this book it's just a little dull technically it's historical adventure fiction but it's the kind of adventure writing that is concerned about the mechanics of survival than it is with standoffs with bears or white water rafting or gentlemen with banjos January coached me that whenever I want to make camp I am to scavenge a few of the evergreen saplings around me as common here as shells in a seashore Once I tie them into a rough tent structure I am to draw over it the tarpaulin he beueathed to me Instantly I have a natural shelter from snow and wind If the night is too cold to sleep I am to build a fire throw rocks into it until they are hot then use his thick leather gloves to roll the rocks into my tent In no time I'll have a heated bedroom that would be the envy of anyone climbing into bed in England It's ingenious really Once I douse the fire I can cover the tent with evergreen branches and disappear safely under the brushit's a four part book with four different narrators in which the longest portion of the book is told through journal entries so that partially accounts for its less whizzbangy tone spanning the years from 1885 1897 it follows a woman and a rifle's journey from canada down into the united states where it's all outlaws and indians and pinkertons oh my and it features real life historical figures like wild bill and annie oakley who narrates part of the book there's a lot of really interesting detail about the aboriginal tribes of canada particularly around the métis rebellion and it's got plucky abigail peacock waging her own rebellion against the schoolmarm and marriage expectations that would hold her back from greatness the writing itself is good it's just a little dry a little dull it freuently reads like nonfiction instead of well researched historical fiction it just doesn't come alive on the page with sparkles can maggie help with this review?? all i remember is that when you were reading this you were not feeding me and that was not my favorite thing ever now shhhh naptimeso there a review for a book i read nearly a year ago that i can now remove from the stack of books that makes me feel bad about myself hooray for progress i reviewed this book in ARC form here but i was told that it had changed significantly before its final published version which of course made me feel bad because i am someone who feels bad so i read it again and here we are it definitely has changed from the version i read and it's somewhat interesting but it turns out that the things that were changed weren't really the things i personally had issues with however i will say that it is much easier to write a review for a book when it is fresh in my mind than it is trying to cobble something together months and months after the factit starts out fine we are introduced to abigail peacock; a narrator very reminiscent of the gruffcranky narrator from True Grit and the novel takes the same shape an older woman looking back on her life and adventures with the perspective of age i really liked her spirit in the prologue as she complains about the human impulse to record history The occurrence of an event does not mean we should immortalize it or keep going back to it as a dog to vomit but she is being hounded by someone else to write her story and she says I know well enough that once he sets his mind on something he will not stop talking about it Since I can stomach only so much jabber I have resigned myselfand then whoooosh back in time to when she was a young englishwoman in 1885 who following the death of her mother moves with her father to the wilderness of wabigoon canada to start a new life but it is a hard life Class distinction fell on desolate soil in this country because survival in uniformly rough circumstances depended on other standards Money made paltry difference in a place where there was little to buy Hardship was instead displaced by the ability to hunt fish or chop woodwhen her father falls ill abigail finds herself at a loss trapped in a strange land caring for her father seeing her future narrow to becoming a wife and teacher and falling victim to the same deathbed regrets as her mother who lived within a very small compassof course the hardships of this new land came with its own regrets Grief is not always caused by a random outside force visited upon the innocent; it can be actively solicited by manifestly stupid decisions I should have twigged there was something wrong with a place where land was being given away England's problems were dwarfed by the magnitude of this monstrous country After two years here in Wabigoon Father whether he granted it or not had evidently come to the conclusion that he did after all make a mistake and wanted to follow Mother into the grave I did not blame himher antipathy to becoming a small woman in a big land leads her to wander in the wilderness teaching herself to shoot where she comes across a dying man; an outlaw and her meetings with him culminate in an act that will spur her on to the great adventure of her life taking her through canada and eventually to new york where she meets annie oakley and several other historical figures however the rest of the book does not have the same fun curmudgeonly voice as the prologue and after that first introduction i just wasn't connecting with the character whose moral primness was off putting to me incidentally also my reaction to True Grit abigail is bucking conventions and standards of femininity by wearing trousers straddling a horse like a man shooting guns and shoveling manure but she is morally rigid and inflexible in a way that i found irritating and she's always making these grand pronouncements There is not one mind for the one who follows the law and another for the one who breaks the law There is only the decision If we fight for what is good the outcome does not matterand Pragmatism is a coward's way out You start with the truth and you fight for it The outcome is not the issueoverall i wasn't crazy about this writing style there's something very stiff to it that reads like nonfiction than historical fiction which is the same complaint i had about Wolf Hall even though i had enjoyed other books by hilary mantel prior to that one and since everyone loved that book it's clear that that style isn't off putting to everyone just methere's just a lot of chunky historical exposition that doesn't flow the way it ought to in a novel In my mind's eye I reeled at the spectacle of this gigantic movement of men and animals west The job of feeding the men alone reuired 75000 pounds of food to be moved not to mention the 775000 pounds of forage for the livestock that pulled the wagons to bring the foodand her reflections upon reading in the newspaper the continuing story about louis riel the resistance leader whose story serves as a backdrop throughout the novel Incredibly there was no end to Riel's demands He wanted two million acres earmarked as an endowment for the building and maintenance of school hospitals and orphanages This he saw as a down payment for the eventual value of a new Northwest Territories nation His calculation was based on a market value of forty cents an acre for the entire area to be divided between the Indians and Metis at the rate of twenty five cents to the Metis and fifteen cents to the Indians Further he wanted one hundred thousand dollars for himself which he considered the value of the land he had to give up back in 1869 when he was banished for his role in the insurrection in Manitoba Although he insinuated that he might settle for thirty five thousand dollarsthat's just a lot to absorb and it feels less narrative than it should it feels like reading a straight history book it's a shame because every so often abigail lets drop a little of the sniffy attitude i liked in the prologue This rough country is no place for a woman riding a horse aloneI should have anticipated the reaction except that having already spent so many days as a woman travelling alone in rough country I had become sloppy about remembering what was impossible for a womanwhich is great and spunky and all that but earlier on the page she reverts back to robot when asked if she is on her way to meet a husband Goodness no I am a teacher I plan to settle wherever I find a congenial population wishing to be educatedand sometimes it just takes a long time to unpack a sentence because the language is so clunky The other type of silence deadens all life around it It occurs when everyone in the environment detects a danger that no one has the power to confront The palpable temperature of cold dread is set by the hysterical hope that an oppressive power might remain insensible to its own possibilitiesfor people who read a lot nonfictionhistory than i do this is probably a fantastic book because it is very well researched and it gives insight into the politics and social climate of a time and place that doesn't get a lot of play in fiction i'm probably just being a lazy reader but like Wolf Hall this felt less like leisure reading and like school i'm still three starring it because i liked a lot of it and i did learn a thing or two but it was a lot slower of a read than most 200 page books #karenisdumb This Godforsaken Place is a well paced work of historical fiction incorporating such well known characters from Canadian and American history as Gabriel Dumont and Annie Oakley as well as Louis Riel and Bill Cody in ways the reader will never suspect Obviously meticulously researched it is penned in the voice of an independent educated female protagonist — Abigail Peacock — who discovers over the course of the novel that she desires to escape the predictability and monotony of her new world small town home to blaze her own trail and experience something truly incredibleThe trials victories and failures in Abigail's journey of self discovery and the people she meets along the way make for a wonderful journey for the reader as well I highly recommend it to anyone interested in North American history tales of self discovery or accounts of wonderful journeys across lands unknown Best book I have read in a long time Google the title for positive blog reviews Loved the dilemmas confronted by a protagonist who had choice in a new world Appreciated the richness of the historical context Historical characters seemed as alive as the fictional ones A compelling read worth revisiting and recommending to friends The author knows how to keep you hooked I shared in Abigail's excitement as she learned to shoot and enjoyed the twists and turns as she set off on her own It was also nice to learn about the history of Louis Riel Gabriel Dumont and the MétisThe author's ability to use the protagonist Abigail to develop a personal connection between the reader and other characters was the shining light of the book first with Abigail's horse Abe then with Shep January and finally Annie OakleyI would definitely recommend this book A young British woman emigrates with her father to a godforsaken town in Northern Ontario in the 1880s There he contracts tuberculosis and dies ever so slowly forcing her to take over his school teaching job and try to evade a plodding but relentless suitor Through chance she learns she likes to shoot and while practicing her sharpshooting kills a man and comes into a fortune Soon she's headed south across the border to join Cody's Wild West show This a godforsaken mess of a novel While the first two pages were good it went rapidly downhill from there The author obviously did a lot of research into both the history of Canada and the US before she began writing and was determined to stuff every fact relevant or not into the story at the expense of character dialog setting and plot Rather than place her heroine at the centre of exciting events such as The Riel Rebellion she has her read and recount endless newspaper stories about them Dialog is forsaken in favour of tedious passive retellings of events happening 1000 miles away; characters are undeveloped and boring Should this novel fall into your hands please reach for your trusty sidearm and put it out of its misery This is a uniue book The culture shocked immigrant Abigail could be forgiven if she wanted to be rescued after her father died Instead she sets off on a uest Although the preface in her words suggests that she seeks the values that lead to principled living it seemed to me that she yearned for something out of life than what was available to your average school marm Everyone she encounters along her epic journey from the outlaw cowboy Shep January to the champion sharpshooter Annie Oakley to the Metis military general Gabriel Dumont who she followed in the newspapers contributes to Abigail evolution into someone she had not ever imagined Inspiring stuff A fantastic historical narrative that brings together Canadian and American historical figures Annie Oakley Gabriel Dumont and Bill Cody with the fictional heroine we all want to be Abigail Peacock Many think that the Riel Rebellion and the Wild West were two separate things but the author does a fantastic job intertwining the two in such a wonderful narrative you can't help but continue readingThe novel is set in 1885 where main character Abigail Peacock is resisting what seems to be an inevitable future—a sensible career as a teacher and marriage to a local storeowner Yet this all changes when a hunted member of the American Jesse James gang Shep January turns up with a Pinkerton detective hot on his heels Unintentionally shooting the detective and committing murder January offers to teach Abigail to shoot in exchange for taking his guns and stolen cash to a man who can help her sort out the detective’s deathAbigail rides through the Canadian wilderness to get to the Bill Cody show were she befriends Annie Oakley Falling in love learning to shoot and fighting the law this book crosses from Canada to the United States to England and back The narrative has enough plot twists to keep you firmly rooted in the story and the characters will come alive in your mind's eye through the beautiful writing of Cinda Gault I strongly recommend reading this book as it is something you don't want to miss I read this book a year or so ago when it first came out The main character Abigail and her moral dilemmas and choices have often come to mind since then The book follows Abigail on her solitary journey both literal and inner from the wilderness of northwestern Ontario to the consumer version of the wild west The Bill Cody Show in New YorkI enjoyed how the author wove the Jesse James Gang Annie Oakley and the Riel Rebellion into Abigail’s story I was inspired to read about the first two To be honest I had hoped for a robust tackling of Riel and Dumont but I can see how and why Annie Oakley had to be the prominent of the historical figures for this particular story Perhaps I was spoiled after reading The Outlander by Gil Adamson but I did think the trip by horse through the wilds could have presented opportunities for dramatic eventsThe author uses interesting words and turns of phrase She offers thought provoking statements on justice personal choice and social norms And I loved the personality she attributed to Abe the horseDid the ending foretell the taming of Abigail’s rebellious spirit? One hopes not well I didn't expect to love this as much as I did I'm not a big fan of historical fiction and tend to shy away from it but I'm glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give this a try because man it was good it's a slow burn of a story not overly action packed and rather tightly structured but the layout works incredibly well for the plot; the little facts of Canadian history sprinkled in at times tend to feel rather like a nonfiction book but they were interesting enough to me since I know very little about it that I could forgive just how clinical they felt because it didn't seem out of place; in a way it reminded me of the structure of Frankenstein in truth there's nothing groundbreaking about the plot or the characters it's all very standard and at times stereotypical but Abigail just has such a strong voice and her narration is so beautiful that I can forgive all of that the writing is just gorgeous the setting is very vivid the voices very clear it was just a really nice experience and I'm glad to have gone through it

This Godforsaken Place Kindle ò This Godforsaken
  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • This Godforsaken Place
  • Cinda Gault
  • 11 April 2016
  • 9781927366417