Book Recommendations

Sunday Book Recommendation

A week or so before Christmas, I was grumpy because I couldn’t find anything to read. I’d spent a ridiculous amount of time scrolling through the many Facebook book groups of which I’m a member without finding a single thing that spoke to me. The current popular tropes (fake boyfriends, sports romances, daddy/boy age play) aren’t tropes or themes I tend to gravitate toward, and it felt like it was the only thing I saw in my feed.

So I complained in the group chat I have with Ally and Ofelia, and Ally, my favorite Ally in the whole wide world, wrote “You like letters, don’t you? I thought this as fantastic. The writing is brilliant” and linked to a book.

And since I love epistolary novels (letters), I decided to download a sample. I loved the sample so I bought the book, and then I stayed up waaaaaay past my bedtime to finish it. At 1:46 am I wrote in the chat “Good lord Ally, that book you recommended wrecked me. I just finished it, I couldn’t put it down.”

It was one of the best books I read all last year. Maybe even the last few years? It is so good that I had to buy a physical copy, too. I need to have it in my bookshelf. And today, it arrived.

My feelings are — too vast to speak

Quote from A Land So Wild by Elyssa Warkentin


In 1845, the HMS Vanguard, under the command of Captain William Caulderson, departed England on a voyage of discovery to find a Northwest Passage through the perilous arctic waters separating the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It was never heard from again. 

Five years later, Captain David Maxwell of the Serapis sets sail to attempt to recover the Vanguard and determine the fate of his former commander. 

Naturalist Embleton Hall is running from demons of his own. He doesn’t expect to find himself drawn to Captain Maxwell–but the two men form a bond that will become essential to their survival.

Together, they’ll brave the elements on a long and harrowing voyage to discover the fate of the lost ship Vanguard. But they’ll also learn that some secrets are best left frozen in ice.

Amazon :: Goodreads

His face. His face. I see it with my fingers. I feel it on my tongue.

David, I was wrong about writing our own story. We are not writing at all, but rather learning to read it in the darkness.

Quote from A Land So Wild by Elyssa Warkentin

This book is probably not for everyone. You really have to love the epistolary format since the book is told entirely in letters, telegrams, journal and log entries etc. It’s also a historical story and the quite slow moving, which I appreciated but know not everyone does. I also read a few reviews that said that the readers didn’t connect with the romance just because it was told in letters and journal entries, but I vehemently disagree with that opinion. I read the MCs’ journal entries about each other and I ached. The romance hit me extra hard right in the gut just because the way it was written was so raw and real. Some parts I read underneath my duvet because I was sobbing and I didn’t want to wake up the hubby.

The plot about the missing ship was absolutely riveting and toward the end I could hardly breathe. The Arctic setting was so well described I had to put on warm socks because I was freezing along with the crew.

I loved every single thing about it. It was heart-breaking and awe-inspiring and so, so beautiful.

I need Embleton as I need air in my lungs.

Quote from A Land So Wild by Elyssa Warkentin

I give this book five million stars. Thank you again for the recommendation, Ally ❤️

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