In Ketchikan, I visited the local bookstore and bought a copy of To The Bright Edge of the World – what better thing to read than a book about the place you are?
We follow two stories in To The Bright Edge of the World: Colonel Allen Forrester and his initial explorations of Alaska for the United States government in the 1880s, and his new wife, Sophie Forrester, who was supposed to go with him until she found out she was pregnant. The book starts out with magical realism: Raven is the trickster god of Alaskan Native culture and features as a character, but the book is also very much grounded in reality.
I like how it captures both the struggle and romanticism of life in cold, barren Alaska. I also like how Sophie, stuck in Vancouver, Washington, changes as a person while her husband is gone.