One of the strengths of this book–at least for me in terms of our reading challenge–is the acknowledged contrast between Chicago and the small town of Cypress, north of Duluth, Minnesota. Several times it’s noted that Cathryn’s infidelity would hardly be noticed in Chicago, but in Cypress she, and even those who associate with her–like […]

In To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, one of the main characters, Sophie, discovers she is pregnant. She has mixed feelings when she learns of her pregnancy. She and her husband, Colonel Allen Forrester, are thrilled, however the doctor seems worried and refuses to give her any information other than telling […]

It’s a testament to Cindy Dyson’s power as a writer that I was able to identify with and root for a main character who is so different from me and has so many characteristics that I tend to think of as weaknesses (the casual drug use and the alcohol abuse in particular). I’ll try not […]

In the Author’s Note, Cindy Dyson talks about which parts of And She Was were true to Aleutian history and which were fictionalized. We don’t know if any groups of women broke taboos to hunt sea mammals during the Russian-Aleut War. We do know that many starved. As a mother myself, I imagined what a […]

And She Was has some great quotes about the Aleutian Islands that really express the setting wonderfully: I read that a few archaeologists did not believe the standard ice age migration theory. … They did not believe that the Aleuts had come on clumsy feet, plodding after mammoths. No, they had come in boats agile […]