The Widow Nash
Dulcy Remfrey’s father, Walton, has started to lose his mind and, in addition, a large fortune he should have brought home from his African expedition. His business partner (who is also Dulcy’s brutal ex-fiancé) requests Dulcy come to Seattle to see if she can make sense of what he has done with his money by reading through the twelve eccentric notebooks her father has kept over the years. When Walton dies and Dulcy’s ex, Victor, grows suspicious that she may not be sharing all of the information with him, he becomes aggressive in his attempts to enforce his will upon her.
While bringing her father’s body home by train, Dulcy reflects upon the path being laid before her. Deciding it’s not a path she wishes to travel, she disappears, telling no one of her plans to run away, hoping to start a new life somewhere else to avoid having to marry Victor.
This is a rich and interesting story about a young woman in America in the early 20th century who takes her life in her own hands and makes the decision to choose herself rather than succumbing to what is expected of her. The reader may not always agree with Dulcy’s actions, but I cannot imagine a reader who wouldn’t be entranced by her story. Jamie Harrison (daughter of the late author Jim Harrison) has written a solid novel that covers a great deal of ground. This historical novel offers a little bit of romance, a nice dose of mystery, and a subtle nod at early 20th-century writers whose female characters weren’t always refined and weak, as was dictated by society.