I received an advance copy of the book: North of Hope by Shannon Huffman Polson. All opinions are 100% my own.
I did not enjoy it. It was very difficult to get into. Lots of information was easily skimmed without missing the gist of the story. The tale is of a woman's journey of self discovery while she travels back to the location of her father's and stepmother's freak death at the hands or paws rather of a deranged bear. As the character is reflecting on the year from their deaths to the trip she planned, she seems to find out not just who her father was but who she is as well.
Several things bothered me, first the character continually refers to her brother "Ned" as my adopted brother acknowledging that they never really meshed as a family but the character seems to blame the adopted brother for the lack of good familial feelings. What bothers me is that the character herself never accepted him as a true sibling.
2nd thing is the comments of "climate change" hurting the pristine environs. I am just not a greenie I suppose and dislike any mention of it in anything I read because as is being proven in real life, climate change is just one more way for the haves to control the have nots.
3rd thing is that it is not clear if this is or is not fiction. It claims to be a memoir and states that the events happened but things have been changed. It was difficult for me to keep the characters in the book straight.
What I did enjoy reading was about the character's relationship with her father and the need to always seek his approval. I can relate to that well. The strain that it causes, the continual feeling of being a disappointment. Yea, I feel it, more strongly in the last 6 years of my life but it has always been there.
I think the person who would truly enjoy this book would be that adventurous outdoor loving soul who would enjoy the descriptions of the Arctic wild. I guess I am just too much of a historical museum ancient city type person. Maybe as with a lot of real life stories it makes sense that the characters don't necessarily all make up at the end unlike a fictional account. And maybe I just like to read books that will tie the ending up in a nice tidy red bow with everything working out to how it should or rather how I think it should.
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