Character Study: Abigail Peacock from This Godforsaken Place

With Abigail Peacock’s prospects all but chiselled in the Canadian Shield rock of Wabigoon, Ontario, the heroine of This Godforsaken Place chooses instead to ride and shoot her way through to her own destiny – late-19th Century gender norms be damned.


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In Character Study, we’ll take a deeper look at one character from a book or series. Get to know the character–what they like, what they do, and, more importantly, what they read. If you’re intrigued, you can spend a little more time getting to know them by reading the book!
Meet Abigail Peacock. In 1885, she’s an Englishman teacher’s daughter in a little settlement in Wabigoon, ON, populated largely by Swedish immigrants staffed with building the schoolhouse. Her introduction to harsh Canadian winters is an absolute shock – despite repeated readings of Susanna Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush – but none the more so for her father, who quickly falls ill with consumption. Between nursing her father, teaching on his behalf, and fighting off the affections of the well-meaning but self-important shop owner, Lars, Abigail takes to purchasing and shooting a Winchester Rifle in a part of the forest she dubs “the Range.” However, when a dying outlaw appears in her refuge with a story of gun-slinging and bank-robbing, it’s left to Abigail to try and carry out his last wishes. Her journey on horseback to the United States proves all the more perilous when every man and his Uncle question why she is travelling alone, and she treads a fine line between two personalities: hardened cowgirl and mannered young lady. She’ll need both to win famed sharpshooter Annie Oakley to her side, but will her convictions, regardless of costume, be enough to strike a deal with Métis rebel Gabriel Dumont when everything is at stake?You’ll just have to find out. Read Cinda Gault’s This Godforsaken Place, out now from Brindle & Glass.