At the Mountain’s Edge

Written by Genevieve Graham
Review by Sarah Hendess

In 1897, Liza Peterson’s father uproots the family from their home in Vancouver to head to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. He plans not to mine for gold, but to set up a store in Dawson City to sell supplies to the miners. Twenty-year-old Liza is apprehensive but embraces the adventure.

Meanwhile, Ben Turner, newly minted constable with the North-West Mounted Police, heads to the Yukon to help maintain law and order in rough-and-tumble Dawson City. When his path crosses Liza’s, he’s undeniably attracted to her, but tragedy seems to strike Liza every time Ben is near. Can she move past the negative memories Ben stirs up? And can Ben overcome the pain of his past and allow himself to be vulnerable?

At the Mountain’s Edge follows a typical romance novel plot, which should satisfy fans of the genre. Unfortunately, there are a few places where events fall flat because Graham doesn’t make the reader feel the characters’ emotions. In one scene of great tragedy where Graham does wrench the reader’s heart, I couldn’t lose myself in the sorrow because the physics behind the scene didn’t work out.

Where this book shines, however, is in its exemplary research and setting descriptions. I was already aware of the basic details of the Klondike Gold Rush, but I had never before appreciated the true difficulty of the journey to Dawson City. Despite reading this novel in Florida in May, I felt cold. Graham uses two actual events as major scenes in the novel, and she wove them together deftly to bring the storyline full circle. I’ve not studied much Canadian history, and while At the Mountain’s Edge didn’t stir my emotions, I’d be interested to seek out other books of Graham’s to learn more.