Talking Location With author Leigh Russell – YORK
Five Great Books set in ALASKA
23rd October 2019
Alaska is the latest place for us to visit in our ‘Great books set in…’ series. Five great books set in Alaska.
John Muir, the famous naturalist, wrote in his journal that you should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live. …
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.
Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen year old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.
At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women.
About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.
The Wind is not a River by Brian Payton
April 1943. In the bloody turmoil of war, John Easley, a journalist mourning his lost brother, is driven to expose a hidden and growing conflict: the Japanese invasion and occupation of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. But when his plane is shot down he must either surrender or struggle to survive in a harsh wilderness.
Three thousand miles to the south, Helen Easley cannot accept her husband’s disappearance-an absence that exposes her sheltered, untested life. Desperate to find and be reunited with him, she sets out on a remarkable journey from the safety of her Seattle home to the war in the north.
An evocative, richly atmospheric tale of life and death, commitment and sacrifice, The Wind Is Not a River, perfect for fans of Cold Mountain, is a gripping story of survival that illuminates the fragility of life and the fierce power of love.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska and inspiration from a Russian fairytale
Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead ‘at the world’s edge’ in the raw Alaskan wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before.
The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes. In a moment of tenderness, the pair are surprised to find themselves building a snowman – or rather a snow girl – together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared, and Jack can’t quite shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure – a child? – running through the spruce trees in the dawn light. And how to explain the little but very human tracks Mabel finds at the edge of their property?
Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow
KATE SHUGAK is a native Aleut working as a private investigator in Alaska. She’s 5 foot 1 inch tall, carries a scar that runs from ear to ear across her throat and owns half-wolf, half-husky dog named Mutt. Resourceful, strong-willed, defiant, Kate is tougher than your average heroine – and she needs to be to survive the worst the Alaskan wilds can throw at her.
BAD BLOOD: One hundred years of bad blood between two Alaskan villages come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka man is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin’s prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when he disappears, both tribes refuse to speak to Jim – so when there’s a second murder which looks suspiciously like payback, Jim calls on Kate Shugak for help.
Now Kate must untangle the village tales of tragedy and revenge if she is to find the truth before it’s too late…
Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
Dr. Evelyn Talbot has learnt to live with fear. As a teenager she was targeted by her boyfriend, Jasper Moore, and survived days of torture. She escaped with her life, but Jasper disappeared before he could be caught.
Now Evelyn Talbot lives in a world of psychopaths.
As the pioneering head of the Hanover House institute in Alaska, she engages daily with killers who have no conscience, no remorse and an ever-increasing desire to murder her. Her only desire is to try and figure out why they do what they do and stop them.
But when a mutilated body is found in her sleepy Alaskan town Evelyn is forced to question herself, her inmates and whether her darkest nightmare has come back to haunt her…
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