A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison- Feature and Review


Dulcy Remfrey has traveled the globe with her eccentric father Walton, a wealthy entrepreneur obsessed with earthquakes and catastrophe, searching to cure his long battle with syphilis through any crackpot means necessary. Their deep connection is tested, however, when Walton returns from an African expedition without any of the proceeds from the sale of his gold mine. It seems he’s lost his mind along with the great sum of money, his health declining rapidly. Her father’s business partner (and her ex-fiancé) insists Dulcy come to Seattle to decipher her father’s cryptic notebooks—a dozen in all, wrapped in brightly colored silk—which may hold clues to the missing funds. Yet when her father dies before they can locate the money, Dulcy falls under suspicion. Petrified of being forced to spend the rest of her life with her ex-love, Dulcy decides to disappear from the train bringing her father’s body home.

Is it possible to disappear from your old life and create another? Dulcy travels the West reading stories about her presumed death and settles into a small Montana town where she is reborn as Mrs. Nash, a wealthy young widow with no burden of family. But her old life won’t let go so easily, and soon her ex-fiancé is on her trail, threatening the new life she is so eager to create.

The Widow Nash is a riveting narrative, filled with a colorful cast of characters, rich historical details, and epic set pieces. Europe in summer. New York in fall. Africa in winter. The lively, unforgettable town of Livingston, Montana. And in Dulcy, Jamie Harrison has created an indelible heroine sure to capture the hearts of readers everywhere.



  The Widow NashThe Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison is a 2017 Counterpoint publication.

Captivating and absorbing historical fiction.

Dulcy left home after breaking things off with her fiancé, Victor, who also happened to be her father’s business partner.

But, when she receives a phone call explaining her father, Walton, is in very bad health and has also misplaced a very large sum of money, she has no choice but to return home.

Although she must face the distasteful and creepy Victor, Dulcy cares for her father and searches through his ‘disaster’ journals for clues to the whereabouts of the missing money.

However, Walton, commits suicide before Dulcy’s research has produced any results. Not long after Walton dies, Dulcy vanishes, and is presumed dead, another probable victim of suicide.

But, in truth, Dulcy took advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to reinvent herself. She does this by settling into the Elite Hotel in Livingston, Montana, presenting herself to the residents there as ‘Mrs. Nash’, a wealthy widow.

From there Dulcy occasionally reminisces about her travels and adventures with her father, a self -made man with an obsession with earthquakes, and a penchant for the ladies, which eventually caught up with him, when he contracted syphilis.

These flashbacks paint a complex father and daughter relationship. It was an unconventional upbringing, which provided Dulcy with experiences no other girl her age would have hoped for, but also came at a high cost to her in many other ways.

But, in her new life, Dulcy escapes the dangerous Victor, takes a lover, and for the first time in her life appears to have found her niche. She blossoms and begins to really take command of her life, until her past comes calling…

This is such a good story. There are some difficult passages sprinkled throughout, and has its share of dark undertones, but it is also very fascinating and interesting. This author has a real talent for bringing to life vivid and unique characterizations.

The dialogue and prose is exceptional, as are the lavish details, descriptions and landscapes. I traveled around a bit and absorbed pieces of history, while getting to know Dulcy, a strong-willed and determined woman who works to escape a most untenable situation and grabs her chance to live life on her own terms.

There are a few distractions in the narrative, especially with the 'disaster' journal entries, which were interesting in the beginning, but, the interruptions they brought could be exasperating at times. I understand why the author felt it was important incorporate them, but the timing or pacing was thrown off a bit because of it.

There’s suspense, adventure, drama and intrigue, romance, poignancy, and irony, and rip -roaring tale of the wild west. I don’t know if I have ever read historical fiction quite like this.

This is a new author for me, but I’m impressed with her writing style, and will certainly add more of her novels to my reading list.

I highly recommend this novel for fans of historical fiction, or to anyone who enjoys rich characters, strong female leads, and marvelous storytelling.





Jamie Harrison, who has lived in Montana with her family for thirty years, has worked as a caterer, a gardener, and an editor, and is the author of five novels.

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