Eliza Waite

Eliza Waite 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 tr

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  • Title: Eliza Waite
  • Author: Ashley Sweeney
  • ISBN: 9781631520587
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 withAfter 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 Part diary, part recipe file, and part Gold Rush history, Eliza Waite transports readers to the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of a raucous and fleeting era of American history.

    One thought on “Eliza Waite”

    1. I came across an essay published just a couple of days ago by the author of this debut novel where she tells of her inspiration for the character of Eliza Waite . Ashley Sweeney says that she and her husband "discovered an abandoned cabin on a cross-island hike on largely uninhabited Cypress Island in the San Juan Islands in the fall of 2008. The cabin sat in sad disrepair: sagging roof, rotting beams, and the evidence of rodent and raccoon feces.Who had lived in this cabin? And why?Near the cab [...]

    2. A Compelling female protagonist that mirrors the strength and determination that ran through the veins of the men and women who pursued gold in the north during the late 19th century, Eliza Waite is a book not to be overlooked. I became spellbound by this character who faced so much adversity and managed to pull up her bootstraps and begin life anew. Eliza Waite was certainly no Disney princess waiting to be rescued. Instead, she learned how to carve a successful business and life all by herself [...]

    3. A GoodReads GiveAway.Eliza Waite goes north to Alaska. The last north to Alaska yarn I encountered was actually a John Wayne movie.Not yesterday, eh b'ys?This book is a fine read. It's the time of the Yukon gold rush and Eliza is a character worth travelling witheven if to chilly Skagway where she fineswell, maybe what she has been searching for all her life.I hope there is never a movie made of this novel. Movies can create distance/space between people and characters from fiction. Eliza needs [...]

    4. Hurray for the female protagonist who adapts to living alone in the wilderness, wearing her dead husband's overcoat and boots. Who gets by on her grit and her good cooking, striking out for Alaska to open a bakery supporting the gold rush community. Who gets it wrong repeatedly when her heart ventures out to test the romantic waters. I'll be looking for Sweeney's next historical.

    5. This was a unique and powerful book – only my second 5 star read for the year. The novel follows the life of Eliza Waite, from an unhappy childhood through an arranged marriage to the loss of her husband and child. Eliza then lives alone in what remains of her settlement where her only solace is her weekly baking from recipes she has collected through the years. Eliza is also a voracious reader – she always had been and she longed to see more of the world but couldn’t imagine leaving the p [...]

    6. This novel was well written but failed to grasp me and keep me in its clutches for the entire first half. However, the book got much, much more exciting from the time that the main character moved to Alaska from the San Juan Islands. The author has an extraordinary skill for description, even in the first part of the book, I felt like I was seeing what she was describing. The harsh reality of the life in turn-of-the-century San Juan Islands, living alone, it was almost depressing. After the move [...]

    7. Ashley Sweeney’s Eliza Waite is written with a spare beauty and measured pace that give ample opportunity for Sweeney’s exquisite creation of late nineteenth century San Juan Island and gold rush Alaska to shine through. Eliza’s character lies between hopeless sorrow and burgeoning resilience, between subsistence living in isolation and the gifts of prosperity and community, between conventions of the past and her gender and her transformation into an independent fully realized woman. A st [...]

    8. Waiting for ElizaAshley E. Sweeney dips straight into the American Dream with Eliza Waite. Her novel is at once an anthem to our long held belief that everyone can reinvent themselves and that it ain’t over till the final page is inked. Nothing could be more true for Eliza, her resilient protagonist, who bounces back from one tragedy after another, refusing to be counted down and out. She’s the quintessential heroine, an individual who evolves from meager beginnings into a powerful, inspirin [...]

    9. The prologue of Ashley E. Sweeney’s debut novel shows her heroine embarking on a major life change. In Seattle of 1898, Eliza Waite finds an unused ticket in the street and boards a stern-wheeler bound for the Klondike, dressed in her late husband’s threadbare clothing and with $45 in her purse.It’s no ordinary woman who would travel alone to Alaska, a place where men reportedly outnumber women a hundred to one, but the circumstances that Eliza previously endured give her the courage to ta [...]

    10. I can confidently say that Eliza Waite will easily be in my top 10 books of the year for 2016. The writing is so stark and beautiful, the story so compelling. I couldn’t put this book down, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I finished reading.Author Ashley Sweeney tells the story of Eliza Waite, a woman forging her own life at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries in the American West. Eliza was born into a wealthy, but emotionally cold family in Columbia, Missouri. After her fami [...]

    11. This is a fascinating story of a young woman who survives tragedy and reinvents herself at the turn of the 20th century. The setting changes from the Missouri social scene, to living a tough life on one of the San Juan Islands, to Skagway Alaska during the Goldrush of 1898. Eliza Waite, as did many women of her time, had very little control over her life living under her fathers roof. It was only after her marriage and the tragic loss of her husband and son that she started to make her own choic [...]

    12. This historic novel is set in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska during the late 18oos and early 1900s. It is a part of the world I have never visited, and Ashley Sweeney’s vivid and carefully researched descriptions of these harsh and beautiful landscapes make me yearn to go. Of course it will thankfully be very different now from those places as experienced by Eliza Waite, the strong woman at the heart of this story. In fact the story is very much focused almost exclusively on Eliza, with othe [...]

    13. 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 boo [...]

    14. Cypress Island, September 1896: a tragedy has left a young widow, mourning her child, living alone in a cabin on this isolated spot near Bellingham Bay in the very new state of Washington. Once a month or so, Eliza Waite rows two hours each way to the general store on the mainland for supplies. Otherwise, she supports herself through hard work: chopping wood, maintaining a vegetable garden, fishing, cooking, doing laundry. Each day has a chore, and they repeat endlessly until a second crisis and [...]

    15. I only gave this book (3) stars because I felt the main character did not have enough of a voice. She seemed to float through the book responding to events around her, but not participating in anything. Maybe I feel angst against the character because she epitomizes what I dislike most about myself, but in the long run it made the story slow and stale for me. The setting of the Alaska gold rush was an excellent idea because I haven't read many historical fictions set in this time period, but ins [...]

    16. I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley and She Writes Press-thank you!This book really felt like two separate books to me. I really didn't like the first half of the book when Eliza was still in the San Juan islands. It felt like nothing happened and was really boring to me. That said, I LOVED the book once Eliza moved to Skagway. It was interesting, the pace picked up, and I couldn't wait to find out more. I do think the part in the book description that mentions someone from her past [...]

    17. I loved this book! Each time I opened it, I was transported into 1896-99 and lived right alongside Eliza; the descriptions of where and how she she lived, what she wore, were so vivid and beautifully described that I felt I was right there with her. This is why I read! I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Eliza, and her background story woven throughout. I found myself rooting for her all the way and wanting something good to happen to her. I loved when she went to Alaska and made a new life for he [...]

    18. 4.5 starsKudos to Ms. Sweeney for such a refreshing piece of historical fiction. Too many strong female characters end up being tropes in unbelievable circumstances or acting anachronistically. Not so with Eliza Waite, who straddles the line between modern girl power and historical realism. The story follows Eliza's journey from Washington's San Juan Islands to Skagway, Alaska at the end of the nineteenth century -- unfamiliar territory for me! However, a few of the themes echoed my academic res [...]

    19. So let's imagine it's the late nineteenth century, you're living in a wild Pacific Northwest landscape, kind of clinging onto a small settlement on a small island that's been barely tamed by humans. You are married to the town minister and you have a young son. A major event happens that leaves you standing almost alone on this island with your life stretching ahead of you beyond the water, beyond the mountains, and beyond the reaches of your imagination. What do you do next?I really loved this [...]

    20. Eliza White by Ashley Sweeney is a delight to read! I loved each of the two very different parts of the book. The first part had a thoughtful, meditative feel to it as the reader becomes part of Eliza’s solitary life on Cypress Island. The pace of the writing matches the interior thoughts and actions of Eliza in what may be called a depressed state following the death of her son and husband. In the second part of the book, Sweeney expertly picks up the pace to match Eliza’s new life in Alask [...]

    21. Eliza Waite manages to survive all manner of awful tragedies; there is no keeping this driven woman down. Making her way from Missouri to the San Juan Islands to Alaska in 1898, Eliza finds strength she never imagined she had. Based on gold rush history and personal diaries of the time, Sweeney tells the great story of one woman's journey alone in the world. Peppered throughout with 19th century recipes, Eliza Waite is a charming historical tale of the settling of Alaska, but also of the bravery [...]

    22. I really enjoy my historical fiction, Eliza Waite was no exception. I really liked Eliza and her personality, struggles and demeanor. The reason I give this book 3 stars, because there were a few slow parts and it was pretty predictable. Reading the back of the book, I thought there would be more about Goldminers and fortune hunters but this was a small part of the book. It was more about Eliza and her struggles.I really enjoyed the recipes!

    23. This book is a slow starter; but, if you can power through the San Juan Islands, Alaska is very well written. I loved the images of life in Alaska - Ms. Sweeny writes it in an un-romanticized way that is much more "real" than many other writers. This is an under represented time in historical fiction and I appreciate the place this will take in the cannon. It's a great read if you stick with it!

    24. Thanks She Writes Press and netgalley for this ARC.Rewarding in the non-traditional way of girl power in times of hardship! I love books set in places I'll never visit so I can experience something in all the ways love.

    25. This novel pulled me into the main character, so closely that at times, I almost felt I was Eliza. A beautiful story of a young woman's determination to survive while making thoughtful decisions about her life and her freedom.

    26. I'll try anything set in Alaska- and this is a well written novel of a woman's struggle. Loved that it was set in Skagway, liked that the women helped one another, liked that it was realistic. Very good show by Sweeney- I'll look for more from her. Thanks to NETGALLEY for the ARC.

    27. Excellent historical. Follows the internal journey of a woman on an island in Puget Sound at the turn of the century, and her discovery of herself and home in Skagway during the Klondike gold rush.

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