Unlucky in love, Marlie flees a bad relationship. She accepts a teaching job in the remote Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). The beauty of the islands and the rugged challenge of northern living enthrall her.
A good-looking artist has his eye on her. The perfect gentleman. Or is he? And what about that handsome fisherman? Is he just a bit too real for her with his hunting and fishing? Just as Marlie hopes that her life has made a turn for the better, disaster strikes. She is shocked to see her life spiraling downwards yet again. How could she have made such an error in judgement—an error that sets more bad luck in motion?
Not willing to lose control, Marlie takes a deep breath and sets out to get her life back on track. But can she do it alone?
Set in the remote islands of coastal British Columbia, Marlie is a heartfelt romance of love and loss and love again.
Experience the fears and joys of northern island living and delight in a second chance at true love.
***Brace yourself for some violence, as that is also a part of this rugged adventure.
Anneli Purchase knows how to set her readers down in amazing scenery and show them a different way of life, a different country, while telling a tale of love, abuse, fishing, teaching to a disenfranchised group of children, romance, and suspense. Yes, all in one book! I found it fascinating to learn about Haida Gwaii, an island in British Columbia, and its lushness as well as its harshness. The characters are much like that place: lush and harsh, vulnerable and isolated, beautiful and remote. An excellent read.
Anneli Purchase is very talented in writing about unforgettable settings. In reading Marlie I felt that I was myself visiting this fishing village alongside her - witnessing its rich aboriginal culture and beauty. Her writing flows smoothly and as naturally as the wildlife she describes.
Although the novel has a very strong setting, one which could stand on its own as a travel novel, it is also about a crime which the author handles with great skill and sensitivity. And it is a lovely romance.
I love Anneli Purchase's work. It is straightforward in the way that Nature is straightforwardly pragmatic and indifferent to suffering, ego or justice. This we know but the shock never diminishes. This story is set against the scenery of the wild where you hunt to eat and bad men get what a bad man can take. Strong men and women suck it up and the only snowflakes are under the wheels of your truck or blizzarding in on the pitiless wind. Marlie is a woman from the city starting over maybe in the liberal belief that you ever can. There is no fake sentimentality here. She finds happiness but only via conflict and brutality. Nature respects no weakness but only men are truly cruel for pleasure. Survival and the perception of beauty allow a space for romantic love in this atmospheric and beautifully written story. If you love the mechanics of writing look out for the poetry of vocabulary from the stern roller through to humpies in the scuppers. You will need to shower off the sea salt when you put this book down. I read this story in the heat of an Italian summer but I was there in the Charlottes looking north to Alaska. Now that is writing talent.