Eliza Waite

Written by Ashley E. Sweeney
Review by Celia Shea

“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…”

Eliza Waite’s settled life is upended by the tragic death of her husband and son on Washington State’s remote San Juan Islands. In Ashley Sweeney’s Eliza Waite, the protagonist is left heartbroken and directionless. She joins the wave of migrants, and hopeful dreamers, streaming north to the Klondike in the Gold Rush of 1898. Settling in Skagway, Alaska, she begins constructing a life for herself there, establishing a bakery and gradually re-connecting with her gentler emotions again.

The story moves briskly along, and as a portrait of a woman daring to live life on her own terms, Sweeney’s book is both believable and eye-opening.

A strong, heartfelt novel.