THE BRIDE’S FAREWELL is a novel about journeys, about the literal and figurative quest to find one’s place in the world. Not surprisingly, given its nearly constant sense of motion, the book starts out immediately with its heroine, Pell Ridley, leaving her childhood home in the dark of night. Pell, however, is no ordinary runaway. She’s leaving on the eve of her marriage to the neighborhood blacksmith’s son, Birdie, a simple man whose proposal represents hope to Pell’s impoverished, miserable family, but spells misery to Pell herself.
Pell leaves home with little but a handful of coins and her beloved horse, Jack. She