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The Widow Nash
by Jamie Harrison


Overview - A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

It is New York, 1904, and Dulcy Remfrey, despite an idiosyncratic, traveling childhood, faces the predictable life of a woman of the time. All that changes when her eccentric father returns from his expedition to Africa without any of the proceeds from the sale of a gold mine.  Read more...


 
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More About The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
 
 
 
Overview
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

It is New York, 1904, and Dulcy Remfrey, despite an idiosyncratic, traveling childhood, faces the predictable life of a woman of the time. All that changes when her eccentric father returns from his expedition to Africa without any of the proceeds from the sale of a gold mine. It seems he's lost his mind along with the money, and Dulcy's obsessive ex-fiance (and her father's business partner) insists she come to Seattle to decipher her father's cryptic notebooks, which may hold clues to the missing funds. When her father dies unexpectedly, taking the truth with him, Dulcy looks at her future, finds it unbearable, and somewhere in the northern Rockies disappears from the train bringing her father's body home.

Is it possible to disappear from your old life and create another? Dulcy travels the West reading stories about her own death and finds a small Montana town where she's reborn as Mrs. Nash, a wealthy young widow, free from the burden of family. But her old life won't let go so easily, and soon her ex-fiance is on her trail, threatening the new life she is so eager to create.

The Widow Nash is a riveting narrative, filled with a colorful cast of characters, timeless themes, and great set pieces. Europe in summer. New York in fall. Africa in winter. And the lively, unforgettable town of Livingston, Montana. This is a book that surprises with its twists and turns, a ribald sensibility, and rich historical details. And in Dulcy, Jamie Harrison has created an indelible heroine sure to capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781619029286
  • ISBN-10: 1619029286
  • Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
  • Publish Date: June 2017
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Land of lawlessness

Two historical novels offer searingly good stories set in the raw and dangerous American West.

Set in 1876 Wyoming, Dragon Teeth is a “found” manuscript from the great Michael Crichton, who died in 2008. Not a typical Crichton blockbuster, it draws from the best of Western fiction. (Think shootouts and a villain whose entrance makes the saloon music halt.)

On a foolish bet, sheltered Yale student William Johnson joins a summer expedition to Wyoming, where he assists a paleontologist digging up dinosaur bones. They hit the jackpot, unearthing a previously undiscovered skeleton. But Native Americans, water buffalo herds and a scheming, rival paleontologist send the expedition packing. Johnson is separated from the group and finds himself in a rough town with the deliciously perfect name of Deadwood. On his first morning, he steps outside the hotel to find a body in the street. “Flies buzzed around the body; three or four loungers stood over it, smoking cigars and discussing its former owner, but no one made any attempt to move the corpse, and the passing teams of horses just wheeled past it.” This is, needless to say, a long way from the rarified air of New Haven. Burdened with crates of fossils he feels compelled to protect, Johnson is challenged for the first time in his life to survive on his own wits, not his parents’ money.

Full of twists and a cool appearance by the Earp brothers, Dragon Teeth is both thrilling and thought-provoking.

Also fighting for survival is Dulcy Remfrey, the heroine of Jamie Harrison’s debut, The Widow Nash, set in turn-of-the-century Washington and Montana. Dulcy is fleeing her abusive ex-fiancé, Victor, but two factors complicate her efforts: One, Victor is her father’s business partner, and two, her dear father has just died after suffering for years from syphilis. While accompanying her father’s body on a train from Seattle to New York, Dulcy disappears—or so it seems.

Actually, Dulcy fakes her own suicide and slips off the train in windy Livingston, Montana, where she becomes Maria Nash, a recent widow. Although she tries to keep to herself in this “place where she’d stopped being herself,” Dulcy gradually becomes part of the colorful Livingston community, with its corrupt police, promiscuous innkeeper and gossipy women. After a lifetime of attending to her father while he searched the globe for a cure for his illness, this is the first time Dulcy has been truly alone. She buys a home and plants a garden, reads stacks of books and quietly starts a tentative romance with a writer.

“She had finally peeled off her old life, lost her ability to fret over secrets before this new one,” Harrison writes. But a slip-up in Dulcy’s carefully cultivated new life could lead Victor right to her door.

Richly descriptive, The Widow Nash is the luminous story of a woman suspended between two worlds, one promising, the other catastrophic.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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