The Beautiful and the Wild (Hardcover)
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The dangers of Alaska aren't limited to storms, starvation, and grizzly bears. Sometimes the most dangerous thing is the person you love.
It’s summer in Alaska and the light surrounding the shipping-container-turned-storage shed where Liv Russo is being held prisoner is fuzzy and gray. Around her is thick forest and jagged mountains. In front of her, across a clearing, is a low-slung cabin with a single window that spills a wash of yellow light onto bare ground. Illuminated in that light is the father of her child, a man she once loved. A man who is now her jailor. Liv vows to do anything to escape.
Carrying her own secrets and a fierce need to protect her young son, Liv must navigate a new world where extreme weather, starvation, and dangerous wildlife are not the only threats she faces. With winter's arrival imminent, she knows she must reckon with her past and the choices that brought her to the unforgiving Alaskan landscape if she is ever going to make it out alive.
A story of survival in the wilds of Alaska, The Beautiful and the Wild explores the question of whether we can ever truly know the person we love—or ourselves.
About the Author
Peggy Townsend is an award-winning journalist and author. Her work has appeared in Catamaran literary magazine, Santa Cruz Noir, The Boston Globe Magazine, Memoir Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Twice she lived for seven weeks in her van, traveling to Alaska and along the back roads of the U.S.
“The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat Alaskan wilderness survival story and so much more; a brilliantly insightful and compelling dysfunctional family drama that kept me turning the pages at warp speed. I loved this book!”—Karen Dionne, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter and The Wicked Sister
"Page-turning. Exhilarating. Unforgettable. I read The Beautiful and the Wild in one riveting gulp. It's both compelling psychological suspense and a wise contemplation of the destructive power of secrets—not just those kept from us by others, but also secrets we keep from ourselves."—Meg Waite Clayton, internationally bestselling author of The Postmistress of Paris
"The Beautiful and the Wild probes the darkest corners of human heart; in the context of a marriage gone wrong, it's hard to imagine anything more terrifying. Townsend's masterfully written novel takes us to a harrowing past informing an even more treacherous present, chilling and unforgettable."—Elizabeth McKenzie, award-winning author of The Dog of the North
“Townsend has written a breath-stopping, heart-thumping, page-turning, keep-you-up-at-night story. Wild is the word.”—Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Booth and We are All Completely Beside Ourselves
“From its gripping beginning to its unexpected and totally satisfying conclusion, Peggy Townsend's The Beautiful and the Wild is a fast-paced, event-packed story. Liv Russo's life has already held more than its share of adversity, but the challenges she confronts when she and her young son arrive at a remote Alaskan homestead are far more than she could ever have imagined. Liv's fight to survive, protect her son, and learn more about the secrets that have shaped her life kept me reading long past my bedtime.”—Jean Hegland, New York Times bestselling author of Into the Forest
"Wow, wow, wow. Townsend explores the lengths we go to keep loved ones safe as well as how memory and perception change over time. Filled with secrets, dark terrain, and hope, The Beautiful and the Wild kept me guessing until the end. Propulsive and addictive."—Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library
"A pulse-pounding novel of captivity, survival and deceit, The Beautiful and the Wild kept me guessing about Liv Russo's mysterious past as well as her precarious future. I needed to know how her story ended, even as I didn't want it to end."—Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines
“In The Beautiful and the Wild, Townsend delivers a masterful, heartfelt, slow-burn literary thriller as unpredictable as the wilds of Alaska. A very smart page-turner, driven by a fierce, complex heroine.”—Michelle Richmond, New York Times bestselling author of The Wonder Test and The Year of Fog
"Townsend elevates the proceedings above standard-issue genre fare by zeroing in on Liv and Xander’s relationship, which she renders with aching sensitivity. The mother-son bond at the heart of this tense melding of domestic suspense and survival thriller makes it tough to shake."—Publishers Weekly
"This novel is recommended for all collections. Readers will sympathize with Liv and applaud her grit."—Library Journal
"The shifting perspectives and fast-paced plot will keep even the most avid suspense readers on
the edge of their seats. Recommended for fans of scrappy female leads facing the most dire
circumstances, such as those in titles by A. J. Finn, Greer Hendricks, and Ruth Ware."—Booklist