Sunday, April 28, 2013

Book Review - North of Hope

North of Hope - A Daughter's Arctic Journey
By Shannon Huffman Polson


After author Shannon Huffman Polson’s parents are killed by a wild grizzly bear in Alaska’s Arctic, her quest for healing is recounted with heartbreaking candor in North of Hope.
Undergirded by her faith, Polson’s expedition takes her through her through the wilds of her own grief as well as God’s beautiful, yet wild and untamed creation---ultimately arriving at a place of unshaken hope. She travels from the suburbs of Seattle to the concert hall, performing Mozart’s Requiem with the Seattle Symphony, to the wilderness of Alaska---where she retraces their final days along an Arctic river.
This beautifully written book is for anyone who has experienced grief and is looking for new ways to understand overwhelming loss. Readers will find empathy and understanding through Polson’s journey. North of Hope is also for those who love the outdoors and find solace and healing in nature, as they experience Alaska’s wild Arctic through the author’s travels.



This is such a powerful book!! When Shannon's parents are killed, she is sent reeling and searching for something - perhaps closure? When she decides to take the same trip that her father and step-mother have taken (and were killed on!), I was in shock and wondered why. However, this trip is what keeps me on the edge of my seat and brings clarity to Shannon.

This book is a memoir and while there are some slow areas when she shares in detail about bears and the Alaskan indigenous peoples, but I actually enjoyed learning this information and I thought it gave me a clearer understanding of the remote area she was in. She also skips around between time lines - remembering the past while then taking us back to the present and her Alaskan trip, however, this did not distract me but helped me to understand her thinking a bit more.

I really enjoyed her frankness as she shared her thoughts and feelings. While this may not be a book for everyone, I really enjoyed it. It wasn't an easy read, by any means, but it was an excellent story and I enjoyed it.

*This book was provided to me by Handlebar Marketing

Blessings - Julie

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