Sunday, September 1, 2013
Book Review: On the Edge of Nowhere
I recently picked up a book called On the Edge of Nowhere by James Huntington at a garage sale in Newhalen. I bought it on a whim. Actually, Kate and Bill bought it for me because all books at the garage sale were being sold for fifty cents a pop and they only had a George Washington on hand. They bought a book and told me to pick one out for myself. Boy, am I glad that I walked out with this story. I feel like I've been on the adventure of a lifetime during the past two days! And yes, the book is a quick read and it only took me a couple of days to finish.
On the Edge of Nowhere is the true story of James Huntington, a man born to an Athabascan Indian mother and a white trapper father who grew up in the remote Kuskokwim region. The book opens with the incredible story of his mother's journey walking 1,000 miles in the brutal Alaska wintertime to reach her family. The second chapter tells of his mother's tragic death when Hungtington was only 7-years-old and alone with his two siblings while his father was away. The flow and excitement only continues as we watch Huntington come to age, live solely off of the land, confront bears and wolves, face death several times, journey to different places in Alaska, build new towns, and dogsled race. Despite his hard work, bad luck always finds him and makes you, as the reader, want to throw the book down in outrage.
Yes, I've been a bit Alaska-obsessed for the past few months, but this book would be an exhilarating read for anyone. Throughout the story, I kept thinking to myself, "This really happened! This man truly lived through these events!" Now that I'm finished reading the story, I'm more excited than ever to continue having my own adventures in Alaska. James Huntington led an inspirational life of action and independence that we all can aspire to emulate.
Natalie's Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Huntington is no Shakespeare, but the book is action-packed, exciting, and well worth a read.