Monday, June 12, 2017

Braving it: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild (Hardcover) by James Campbell (Goodreads Author)

I absolutely loved this book!  It is based on factual trips made into the Alaskan Wild by A Father and his daughter.  They actually made three trips, starting when she was fifteen, she went with her Father to help build a new winter home for his cousin and his wife who had lived in the far back woods of the Alaskan wild!  I have never had any idea how it was to live in Alaska let alone how they trapped, hunted and fished for their food every summer, to put enough away to get them through the long rough winters. James and his daughter Aiden went for a very long summer to help build that cabin, braving clouds of mosquitos, the threat of grizzles, bathing in an ice-cold river and hours of grueling labor.  James had Alaskan creeping into his bones, when he was away from there all he could think of was returning there.  His daughter got the same urge and they returned twice during the year that she was fifteen to the Alaskan Wild.  The story was really great, it went into wonderful detail of all of their activities.  I don't think I could ever have done any of what they did but it was surely a great story and would definitely make a great movie!
I received the book through Good Reads contests in exchange for an honest review.

Description as found on Amazon:  The powerful and affirming story of a father's journey with his teenage daughter to the far reaches of Alaska
Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to only a handful of people, is a harsh and lonely place. So when James Campbell’s cousin Heimo Korth asked him to spend a summer building a cabin in the rugged Interior, Campbell hesitated about inviting his fifteen-year-old daughter, Aidan, to join him: Would she be able to withstand clouds of mosquitoes, the threat of grizzlies, bathing in an ice-cold river, and hours of grueling labor peeling and hauling logs? 

But once there, Aidan embraced the wild. She even agreed to return a few months later to help the Korths work their traplines and hunt for caribou and moose. Despite windchills of 50 degrees below zero, father and daughter ventured out daily to track, hunt, and trap. Under the supervision of Edna, Heimo’s Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan grew more confident in the woods. 

Campbell knew that in traditional Eskimo cultures, some daughters earned a rite of passage usually reserved for young men. So he decided to take Aidan back to Alaska one final time before she left home. It would be their third and most ambitious trip, backpacking over Alaska’s Brooks Range to the headwaters of the mighty Hulahula River, where they would assemble a folding canoe and paddle to the Arctic Ocean. The journey would test them, and their relationship, in one of the planet’s most remote places: a land of wolves, musk oxen, Dall sheep, golden eagles, and polar bears.

At turns poignant and humorous, Braving It is an ode to America’s disappearing wilderness and a profound meditation on what it means for a child to grow up—and a parent to finally, fully let go.