Yukon’s Fictional Geography

Dan Carruthers’ more recent thriller, Anya Unbound (2017), introduces us to Sean Carson, a recovering widower, who stumbles across a 17-year-old Polish girl on the way to his bush cabin. He discovers she is part of a baker’s dozen of girls who have been lured to North America and are bound for the sex trade in Alaska. Because the kidnappers just won’t give up, Sean gets involved still further, and ends up rescuing all the girls, foiling the plans of the sex traffickers.

I can’t speak for most of the settings in the book. Carruthers is light on details when describing the church where some important scenes occur, the RCMP headquarters, the college where Sean’s lady friend teaches, or the stores in which they shop.

Where there is a lot of detail is at White River Lodge, half an hour or so southeast of Beaver Creek. That’s the old name for the place now known as Discovery Yukon.

In the book, because it needs to be a refuge for about 18 people, it needs to be a spacious, two-storey complex with a working restaurant, a dining area and lots of rooms.

In reality, it is a pleasant RV campground, with a number of cabins and wall tent accommodations outside the main lodge. I was there in July. There’s no restaurant.

But that’s just fine, because a lot of the story takes place in this setting, and those changes make for a pretty good book.

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