I can see why this was a prize winning book. It is a good read, although I thought a few too many threads were left hanging at the end. In that sense it felt not quite finished, although to be fair, the hanging threads weren’t dangling completely unsuspended. Read it for yourself to make sense of this paragraph!
It is worth the read. The book is set in Canada in 1867, where in a small community a man is found dead, scalped, in a cabin. Much follows, with several treks across the wintry desolate Canadian north (probably by a few too many people, there’s one lot whose only function seems to be to link two disparate parts of the story). There are some characters who are drawn in lots of detail, and then seem to disappear without trace, and others are drawn in less detail, but more central to the story. However, all this seems a bit carping. I liked the book, and as a tale of epic derring do of (wo)man against nature, it does very well.
I’m amused that wikipedia says that Penny was suffering from agoraphobia while writing the book, and the research was all done in the library. What was that about plagiarism being copying from one person, and research (novelty in this case) being copying from many people?