Wednesday, June 22, 2016

ELIZA WAITE by Ashley E. Sweeney

After the tragic death of her husband and son on a remote island in Washington’s San Juan Islands, Eliza Waite joins the throng of miners, fortune hunters, business owners, con men, and prostitutes traveling north to the Klondike in the spring of 1898. 

When Eliza arrives in Skagway, Alaska, she has less than fifty dollars to her name and not a friend in the world―but with some savvy, and with the help of some unsavory characters, Eliza opens a successful bakery on Skagway’s main street and befriends a madam at a neighboring bordello. Occupying this space―a place somewhere between traditional and nontraditional feminine roles―Eliza awakens emotionally and sexually. But when an unprincipled man from her past turns up in Skagway, Eliza is fearful that she will be unable to conceal her identity and move forward with her new life. Using Gold Rush history, diary entries, and authentic pioneer recipes, Eliza Waite transports readers to the sights sounds, smells, and tastes of a raucous and fleeting era of American history.


Within this mesmerizing cover is a though-provoking tale about a woman who struggles to overcome adversity resulting from the hardships and poverty and loss that has plagued her life. Eliza Waite is poor, alone in the world, and running from a horrendous past. Her tragic past makes her a compelling character.
The first part of the novel takes place on the San Juan Islands where she earns a living from the land. It is a life of hardship and constant work simply to exist. The latter part of the book takes the reader on a journey to Skagway Alaska with its chaotic economy and colorful character. Eliza struggles to adapt to her new environment. Slowly, not only does she adapt, but she is victorious in changing her life as she discovers her spirit and resilience. 
Written in a lovely, flowing style, it was an enjoyable book describing a fascinating era in American history. Highly recommended. 
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog,, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit

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