Pages: 448 (E-book)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: February 6, 2018
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
An emotional and gripping read that will keep you up all night.
The book opens with 13 year old Leni listening to her parents arguing. Leni reflects how this normal in her home especially since her dad came home from Viet Nam. Her dad is notified a comrade he served with in Viet Nam has left him his homestead in Alaska. Leni’s dad thinks the best thing for his family is to move to the homestead and learn how to live off the land and provide for themselves. He tells them it will help him emotionally. Off the family goes to Alaska in the VW van with nothing more than the clothes on their backs pretty much. We follow Leni and her family as the learn what it takes to be a true Alaskan and a family that is riddled with abuse with nowhere to go.
I cried happy and sad tears as I read late into the night each night. Last night I read until my eyes could not focus as I wanted to finish the book. Just like she did with The Nightingale, I questioned what I would do in similar circumstances and if I had to the guts and strength to survive what the female characters survive. How much are you willing to love someone whether it be blood or not? Is blood love the strongest of love? You will find yourselves wrapped up in the characters so much that you will take a moment to refocus and remember where you are in the real world.
The description of the wilds of Alaska is beautiful but at the same time Hannah is not afraid to show the ugliness of Alaska either. Alaska is not for the faint of heart. It takes a special person to survive.
Run to the nearest bookstore, library or e-reader and pick up your copy today and make the time to read it over the weekend. I think you will be glad you did.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy in exchange for an honest review in my own words.