When I picked up this memoir of Alaska, I was really hoping for a book along the lines of Rick Bass’s Winter: Notes from Montana, but instead of an artful reflection of an arctic wonderland and unique, hearty people, it felt more like a family member talking about the latest gossip in her town.
In fairness, Lende is the local newspaper’s reporter on regional events and the crafter of obituaries, but she never really delved very deep into her reasons for making Alaska her home. Every chapter seemed to describe another death. Seriously. Death is a common occurrence in the northernmost state due to plane crashes, hunting accidents and drownings. There were lots of those referenced in this memoir, with a few from cancer or conjunctive heart failure thrown in.
If you want a book that shares one woman’s Alaska lifestyle in a coffee-clutch way, this book is for you. It wasn’t what I was looking for.
2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2006