Fiction by Amy Bloom.
The Telegraph Trail ran up through British Columbia and into Alaska in the early part of the twentieth century, with thousands of miles of cables laid and cabins along the way manned by lone operators in harsh conditions. It had been begun as way to connect America with Europe by land, but was abandoned as a failure in 1867 when an underwater cable was successfully laid in the Atlantic. Still it was used to send messages through the wilderness until it was replaced by radio waves mid-century.
They say there was a foreign woman who walked along the Telegraph Trail alone, mute or silent by choice, determined to walk all the way to Russia. This story may have been made up to sell papers in the age of questionable journalism, but it is an intriguing one.
Author Amy Bloom imagines this story as it might have been lived, by a real woman in the 1920's, and creates some fascinating characters. In conceiving this novel, Ms. Bloom asked herself, Why would anyone make such an extraordinary trip?
And she answers, "I would only do it for love."
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