Saturday July 15th at 5:00 PM Jamie Harrison will give a presentation on her innovative novel, The Widow Nash. It is written with assurance, complexity, beautiful prose, and occasional glints of a wicked sense of humor. I admire the writing tremendously.
Historic fiction is at its best in this sweeping novel featuring a strong woman, her brilliant but eccentric father, and the dark obsessive man who was both her father’s business partner and her ex-fiancé. Dulcy Remfrey is in New York with her sister Carrie when she receives the distress call from Seattle. Dulcy normally travels with her father on all his jaunts, has since she was a girl of 15, this time she stayed behind.
Walton Remfrey is an engineer and an inventor; he made a fortune traveling the world to places where the earth’s wealth can be extracted, Montana, South Africa, wherever he finds an opportunity. Walton is obsessed with earthquakes, suspects he can find a way of understanding them, predicting their violence. His journeys include trips to the sites of such disasters, Dulcy at his side. He keeps journals of his travels, financial affairs, and thoughts. Walton suffers from syphilis, has for twenty years, and in 1904 it was still a death sentence. The grim reaper has been kept at bay, avoiding some of the more horrific side effects of the disease, until now when it seems to have taken his mind. His ship docked in Seattle, Walton disembarked without either his wits or the money from selling the mines in South Africa. A fortune is missing, mislaid, and Walton makes no sense whatsoever on where he might have put the proceeds. His business partner wants Dulcy to waste no time, come immediately and try to unravel Walton’s nonsensical patter, search his journals for clues that she might understand to find the money. She has no desire to ever see her former fiancé, Victor Maslingen, again. But his cousin Henning promises Victor will be kept away and if she does not help decipher her father’s words, they may be ruined financially due to the loss.
When Walton dies, the future for Dulcy is not promising; Victor believes he has her in his clutches. Could there be another way? On the journey to take her father’s body back east to the family for burial, Dulcy decides to find that other way. In the Rockies, she fakes suicide disappearing into Montana and reemerges as the Widow Nash. She must create her new life in complete secrecy, if Victor ever finds her she may not survive and he is not a man to give up easily.
Harrison’s novel travels all over the world, from Turkey to Africa, Europe, and a large swatch of the US. It is populated by a troupe of quirky, original characters. Dulcy is a vivid heroine, brave, intelligent, and unwilling to accept the limits on women imposed by her era; instead she risks everything for life on her own terms encompassing the possibility of joy and meaning. The writing is sublime; you can almost feel the winds that howl in Livingston Montana, the descriptions are haunting and make you feel as if you are there.
Please call 541-593-2525 or e-mail email@example.com or stop by Sunriver Books & Music to sign up to attend this free presentation. There will be drawings for prizes and light refreshments