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Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite
Gold Nuggets by Lynn Lovegreen is a wonderful tour through the Alaskan wilderness in 1916 and probably much of it is still like that today. Through the eyes of viewpoint characters Charlotte Cooper and Henry Reeves, readers are introduced to an interesting collection of backwoods individuals whose very names such as Stinky and Shakespeare convey as much as description ever could about what the Alaskan wilderness was like to live in, and the type of people who chose to live there. Lovegreen gradually brings Charlotte and Henry together, not only in a potential romance, but to work together toward the hopeful creation of Mount McKinley National Park, writing letters and lobbying influential individuals.
Henry’s horseback ride with Stinky provides a mind’s eye tour of Alaska’s backwoods and tundra as Henry becomes captivated by the need to preserve Alaska’s wildlife and scenery. Charlotte, meanwhile, works to sort out her feelings for Henry, who has a prospective fiancée back home in New York. Charlotte’s efforts to discern her future, whether as a writer, university student, or both, provides a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of young women in the early 20th century, as the vote and changing times provide increasing socio-economic opportunities. But how will Charlotte’s desire for independence affect her relationship with Henry?
I thoroughly enjoyed Gold Nuggets by Lynn Lovegreen. The novel will appeal to readers who like an even pace throughout, which makes it easy for readers to keep turning the pages without being afraid to do so. Lynn Lovegreen shows her genius as an author by writing a novel which has appeal beyond normal romance readers, potentially drawing in Alaska enthusiasts of whatever description. This novel should be required reading for anyone thinking about vacationing in Alaska or moving there.