Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds Info

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In 1973, Norma Cobb, her husband Lester, and the their five
children, the oldest of whom was nine-years-old and the youngest, twins,
barely one, pulled up stakes in the Lower Forty-eight and headed north
to Alaska to follow a pioneer dream of claiming land under the Homestead
Act. The only land available lay north of Fairbanks near the Arctic
Circle where grizzlies outnumbered humans twenty to one. In addition to
fierce winters and predatory animals, the Alaskan frontier drew the more
unsavory elements of society's fringes. From the beginning, the Cobbs
found themselves pitted in a life or death feud with unscrupulous
neighbors who would rob from new settlers, attempt to burn them out,
shoot them, and jump their claim.

The Cobbs were chechakos,
tenderfeet, in a lost land that consumed even toughened settlers.
Everything, including their "civilized" past, conspired to defeat them.
They constructed a cabin and the first snow collapsed the roof. They
built too close to the creek and spring breakup threatened to flood them
out. Bears prowled the nearby woods, stalking the children, and Lester
Cobb would leave for months at a time in search of work.

But
through it all, they survived on the strength of Norma Cobb---a woman
whose love for her family knew no bounds and whose courage in the face
of mortal danger is an inspiration to us all. Arctic Homestead is
her story.


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Reviews for Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds:

1

Mar 18, 2012

Posted this review on my blog, but had to toss it up here as well, because I am baffled at the good reviews this beast received. From the blog...

"Arctic Homestead" is technically written by Norma Cobb (the homesteader) and Charles Sasser (co-writer). From what I can gather, Cobb didn't actually write the book (although she claims to have done so on her blog). Sasser used her journals and interviews with Cobb to write the novel. Cobb has a blog where she does some complaining about things she Posted this review on my blog, but had to toss it up here as well, because I am baffled at the good reviews this beast received. From the blog...

"Arctic Homestead" is technically written by Norma Cobb (the homesteader) and Charles Sasser (co-writer). From what I can gather, Cobb didn't actually write the book (although she claims to have done so on her blog). Sasser used her journals and interviews with Cobb to write the novel. Cobb has a blog where she does some complaining about things she would have done differently had her publishers allowed her. However, she doesn't ever say "This book makes me out to be a cripplingly insecure, paranoid, mind-bogglingly hypocritical, misogynist moron who has a distinctly difficult time telling the truth." Because, well, it does. Were I Norma Cobb, there is no way in hell I would have allowed my name to be attached to this book, which leads me to believe that she either a) desperately needed the money or b) is really as awful as she is portrayed in the book. Unfortunately, after a bit of poking around on the 'net, I suspect it is the latter.

If you're looking for a "how-to" on homesteading, "Arctic Homestead" ain't it. It's written as more of an adventure tale, highlighting how the Cobb clan came to Alaska and managed to build a homestead near the Arctic circle. Norma Cobb is technically the last woman to have staked a claim via the Homestead Act, although her claim was backdated due to her husband's poor choice of land initially, so we never know who the real "last woman pioneer" might genuinely be.

Her husband's poor choices are a theme throughout the book, although Cobb and Sasser do quite an interesting mix of passive-aggressive insulting and hero worshiping of Lester Cobb, Norma's husband. The authors never state the obvious--Lester was a child (21 years-old) when he came to the bush and his decisions reflect that of a grossly immature, ill-informed adult infant with an extra helping of bravado. It's amazing the dude didn't kill his family or himself. (What the book doesn't mention: They eventually divorced, Lester is now deceased and Norma lives in AZ.)

The adventure tale goes a bit like this: Lots of near-death misses with guns and snow and bears, heaps of struggle (Cobb rails against "sissies" in the lower 48 taking handouts and being victims, fully ignoring the hypocrisy of her constant sense of victimization by others. Apparently, Alaska is filled with brutish douchebags who will take advantage of you at every turn), mostly due to poor planning and bad choices. Of course, she never attributes it to their idiocy. It's always someone else's fault or the harshness of the conditions. There's quite a bit of environmental harm thrown in, but Cobb doesn't actually acknowledge the harm they cause, though she rails against others who *commit the exact same acts.* Seriously, people. The irony is overwhelming.

There are several tales of bears nearly killing folks, always shot down so close that their claws hit her husband's boots as the creature falls. Once, sure. But over and over again? Really? It reads like it was written in hopes that someone would option it for a film.

Cobb is alarmingly insecure. She (or Sasser) refers to most other women she encounters as unattractive and is disparaging of anyone who has more education than her high school educated self. Her digs at other women are...well, creepy and absolutely unnecessary. Her parenting is a little disturbing as well, despite the fact that she sings her own praises. She passive-aggressively insults her husband's children frequently (the Cobbs were a blended family. Her husband with two daughters and she with three sons). She finds no qualm with complaining about mothers who work away from home yet ignores the fact that when she was away from the family working, her husband couldn't "baby-sit" (um, it's called *parenting*) and left the children with friends. Just one of many instances of hypocrisy-r-us.

After reading one too many near-death misses and yet another tale of some jackass screwing them over, I decided to do a bit of poking around on the 'net. One story particularly disturbed me. She tells of a hired hand who wintered over when the Cobbs had to leave the homestead. She barely mentions him, yet tells a horrid, yet brief, tale in which he is incapable of handling the dark, long winter and goes mad. In his delirium, all of the Cobb's sledding dogs die from neglect. It's an awful story. The problem? It's a lie. The real story? Lester Cobb made one of his daughters bring him the dogs one by one and he shot them. Dunno why that happened, but apparently Norma felt the need to tell the tale of the dogs' deaths without tarnishing the hero worship/passive-aggressive insults around her husband. Most disturbingly, she uses the young man's real name (asking for a lawsuit?) and neglects to tell us that she asked him to take her two daughters for an extended period of time, because they were annoying her and, after all, they were really her husband's children.

Essentially, Norma Cobb presents herself (or is presented by Sasser) as a stereotype, which might explain why she only presents others in the story as stereotypes. She's Christian (lots of God talk), but absolutely intolerant of those who are different. Rural roots, uneducated and utterly unintelligent (dammit, people, plenty of rural, uneducated folks are BRILLIANT), petty and catty towards other women, a lying hypocrite (why, why, why must my religious brethren always fall into that stereotype?), on and on.

Seriously? I hated this book. Absolutely hated it. I could rant for hours, but you've suffered enough. ...more
4

Sep 08, 2015

Started this to “get the facts” about homesteading in Alaska, not expecting to be drawn in. But Norma Cobb’s voice, which her co-author was smart enough to amplify, did just that. She was the last person to file under the Homestead Act, before availability ended in 1974. She was twenty nine, divorced, with three sons, and going nowhere in Wichita when she married Lester Cobb, seven years younger, divorced, and with twin daughters, headed to the same destination. The idea to homestead, originally Started this to “get the facts” about homesteading in Alaska, not expecting to be drawn in. But Norma Cobb’s voice, which her co-author was smart enough to amplify, did just that. She was the last person to file under the Homestead Act, before availability ended in 1974. She was twenty nine, divorced, with three sons, and going nowhere in Wichita when she married Lester Cobb, seven years younger, divorced, and with twin daughters, headed to the same destination. The idea to homestead, originally in Canada, was hers. But it’s safe to say, Lester became the driving force.

They were not exactly...prepared. For instance, not until they were in northern British Columbia did they discover that homesteading in Canada was closed to non-citizens. Then they lost most of their tools, guns, and valuables to theft. Short of money, with unreliable vehicles, they selected their initial Alaska homestead sight unseen. They found it completely unlivable. Nevertheless, the seven, plus two dogs, six rabbits, and a cat pushed on to the Minook Valley nineteen miles south of the Yukon in central Alaska.

Just to put the effort in perspective, imagine driving into the bush as far as possible, then hiking eleven miles farther over a mountain pass again and again, hauling everything you will have, just to get to where you can camp out to set up your place to live. Finding their new home, building their cabin, and staying put required, among many other challenges, overcoming a co-traveler turned drunk and hostile, near fatal gunshot wound to one of their children, bear invasions, warning away by the Bushman (Sasquatch), and collapse of their first cabin’s roof under the weight of snow. This is one of grittiest, most charming, and touching stories that you will ever find. ...more
1

Mar 07, 2017

I was very eager and excited to start reading because this book contained two of my most favourite subjects to read about: homesteading experiences and living in Alaska. However, within the first two chapters, I was shocked by the impulsiveness and thoughtlessness of the Cobbs, the parents of course. Their homesteading decision came about from Norma Cobb’s dream, which she claimed to be God’s guidance throughout the book. I was not so much bothered by her unwaveringly blind faith in God, which I I was very eager and excited to start reading because this book contained two of my most favourite subjects to read about: homesteading experiences and living in Alaska. However, within the first two chapters, I was shocked by the impulsiveness and thoughtlessness of the Cobbs, the parents of course. Their homesteading decision came about from Norma Cobb’s dream, which she claimed to be God’s guidance throughout the book. I was not so much bothered by her unwaveringly blind faith in God, which I believe people need living in the backcountry, but more disturbed by just how irresponsible the parents were to venture into a completely strange territory with five young children on a whim. With very little time to prepare themeselves, to do all the necessary research (which led to a huge misinformation about their eligibility to homestead in Canada), and to raise sufficient funds, they set out to chase a pipe dream of self-sufficiency. They were both naive and ignorant. Their stubbornness (and stupidity) costed them financially and psychologically damaged their children. It almost costed their lives and the lives of their children at multiple incidences as well.

In my opinion, their decision for homesteading did not originate from the love for nature or respect for the land. They pursued it so single-mindedly because they were desperate, trying to escape from their miserable lives in Colorado. When you are only earning minimum wages but having to feed seven people and paying all the bills, you start looking for quick fixes to your problems, as absurd as they may be. For the Cobbs, the solution lied in an utopian fantasy that would lead them far away from their previous problems.

Throughout the book, I was constantly reminded of the Cobbs’ poor decision to pursue homesteading in a haste. Norma Cobb writes about their near-death experiences, one after another, as if their survival is worth applauding for. So many problems they have encountered could be avoided with more careful planning that included preparing themselves better knowledge and skill-wise and financially.

I was also very bothered by the father, Lester Cobb’s, character. He is easily excited by the idea of getting rich fast, even if pursuing those ideas involves breaking the law and other rules. As long as he feels that his actions are justifiable, he would attempt them, regardless how his actions could impact others. I think it would be fine, the way he conducts himself, were he a bachelor living in the woods, but he was not. He had five children.

It is interesting for me to read about the difficulties imposed by both natural and human elements on people who choose to live off the land. Although I cringed and rolled my eyes way too many times reading this book, I did find the content of the book amusing.

I would not recommend this book to anybody. I think there must be better books about homesteading in Alaska out there. It is a 1 star book. ...more
2

Jan 10, 2012

The first part of this book I loved it. I was into Ms. Cobb's story and enjoyed reading about the issues that faced the family as they journeyed to settle in the wilds of Alaska. As her story unfolded I began to wonder about the truth behind her tale.
Alaska though it is the largest land wise of all of the United States, is a small community. So it was not surprising that the Cobb family had met and spent time with some more famous Alaskans. I was really turned off by Ms. Cobb's need to comment The first part of this book I loved it. I was into Ms. Cobb's story and enjoyed reading about the issues that faced the family as they journeyed to settle in the wilds of Alaska. As her story unfolded I began to wonder about the truth behind her tale.
Alaska though it is the largest land wise of all of the United States, is a small community. So it was not surprising that the Cobb family had met and spent time with some more famous Alaskans. I was really turned off by Ms. Cobb's need to comment on the attractiveness (or lack there of) in two Famous Iditarod champions while commenting about her own attractiveness. It was a real distraction from the story that she was telling. Finally by the end of the book it seemed to me that Ms. Cobb had some need to make others out to be less attractive and sissies if they weren't her or her then husband Les Cobb. That made me suspect her whole account. What were half truths or out right lies in this story? It was disappointing after such a strong start of the book. A little research on the internet and I found that some of the people mentioned in the book also had alternate accounts of their time with the Cobbs. This book is just a disappointment. ...more
5

Jun 20, 2012

This book reminds me of books of the Krakauer genre. Adventures into the wild by brave or foolhardy people which is finally determined by whether you are succesful or not. The first thing that attracted me to the story was that it was told by a woman which is unusual for outdoor, non-fiction risk-taking and adventure type books. The view of a woman surrounded by grizzlies, forty foot snowbanks, fifty below temperatures, floods, guns of every type makes the story more interesting particularly This book reminds me of books of the Krakauer genre. Adventures into the wild by brave or foolhardy people which is finally determined by whether you are succesful or not. The first thing that attracted me to the story was that it was told by a woman which is unusual for outdoor, non-fiction risk-taking and adventure type books. The view of a woman surrounded by grizzlies, forty foot snowbanks, fifty below temperatures, floods, guns of every type makes the story more interesting particularly when it interupts knitting, cooking or skinning a moose. The two most popular reviews on this site chastise the author for among other things exageration of the truth or about her abundant faith. These may be issues for some in the book, however, the basis of the book is a story of brave, determined, focused, pioneers homesteading in the most remote parts of Alaska and arriving there with five kids and not enough money for gas. There are times she gets political, or evangelistic or even surreal, but I always felt that when you write the book, you get to chose. I was captivated by this family's determination to make a new life for themselves and how they handled the many roadblocks along the way. ...more
3

Jan 01, 2013

Like some other reviewers, I too had some difficulty rating this read. I loved how Norma followed the dream of her and her husband, Lester Cobb against all odds and never gave up while going through a multitude of difficulties and near deaths of some of their family. I do find it almost unbelievable that so many unlucky things could happen to one family, however, it IS set in an untamed Alaskan territory. It makes me wonder, though, if folks who are really as cut of from society as they were Like some other reviewers, I too had some difficulty rating this read. I loved how Norma followed the dream of her and her husband, Lester Cobb against all odds and never gave up while going through a multitude of difficulties and near deaths of some of their family. I do find it almost unbelievable that so many unlucky things could happen to one family, however, it IS set in an untamed Alaskan territory. It makes me wonder, though, if folks who are really as cut of from society as they were really became so REDRUM (as portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the famous terrorizing flick... I use that scenario in regards to the guy who they hired to help out in return for a cabin in which to live). I did learn alot I admit about bears, the determination and fight it would take to survive in this forsaken but beautuful little valley and the endless and tiring labor it would take on a daily basis in weather that I most probably wouldn't survive. I was very interested in the stories of the very large hairy man-like creature...Bigfoot? Who knows? All in all I would recommend it as a read once for the experience. I probably wouldn't read it again. ...more
2

Oct 20, 2011

This could have been a fantastic story but was ruined for me by four things. One, the constant and pervasive references to religion. I'm a scientist and the frequent references to auroras and other natural phenomena as being "god's paintbrush" are just annoying.
Two, the insistence of the presence of a "hairy man" aka, Bigfoot. Seriously? That's right up there with UFOs as a way to destroy someone's credibility.
Three, the supremely stupid and cruel incident, and several other similar incidents, This could have been a fantastic story but was ruined for me by four things. One, the constant and pervasive references to religion. I'm a scientist and the frequent references to auroras and other natural phenomena as being "god's paintbrush" are just annoying.
Two, the insistence of the presence of a "hairy man" aka, Bigfoot. Seriously? That's right up there with UFOs as a way to destroy someone's credibility.
Three, the supremely stupid and cruel incident, and several other similar incidents, where they tied a bear cub to a tree overnight to find it in the morning strangled by its tether. And this was after shooting and wounding the mother bear.
Four, subjecting their kids to their own poor and irresponsible decisions...repeatedly. One boy was accidentally shot by a pistol. Who the hell leaves a young kid in a truck with a loaded gun on the floor?? That's just one of numerous really bad moves.
Other reviewers have accused Ms Cobb of taking a "holier-than-thou" tone with this book and I tend to agree. I was disappointed that a story with so much potential ended up being a lesson on how to be a jackass in the wilderness. ...more
4

May 24, 2014

Arctic Homestead is one of those modern-day pioneer memoirs written by back-to-the-landers. In this case, Norma Cobb writes about her 1972 trek to the Alaskan wilderness with her husband and FIVE young children. Like other reviewers, I found the Cobbs to be completely ignorant. They were on their way to Canada with all their kids when someone mentioned that they weren't allowed to homestead there. Really? They wouldn't have checked beforehand? So they headed to Alaska instead, where they Arctic Homestead is one of those modern-day pioneer memoirs written by back-to-the-landers. In this case, Norma Cobb writes about her 1972 trek to the Alaskan wilderness with her husband and FIVE young children. Like other reviewers, I found the Cobbs to be completely ignorant. They were on their way to Canada with all their kids when someone mentioned that they weren't allowed to homestead there. Really? They wouldn't have checked beforehand? So they headed to Alaska instead, where they endangered their children's lives in so many ways I lost count, including accidentally shooting the seven-year-old while still en route. Having said all that, the book is hugely entertaining because you can't wait to find out what on earth is going to happen next -- blizzards and bear attacks are the two main threats, but let's not forget about the Sasquatch (yes, that's right) that hangs around their camp, threatening to steal their children when their backs are turned. Good grief. ...more
4

May 31, 2016

Great story that balances the romantic notion of Alaskan homesteading with the trials and hardships that it takes to make it happen. Easy, entertaining read.
4

Mar 18, 2012

Incredibly interesting story. I'm having my technology loving teens read it.
5

Mar 28, 2019

This is an amazingly adventurous story of a family’s journey to the Alaskan bush! Watch out, it might make you want to move to Alaska!
3

Feb 21, 2018

Interesting story of homesteading, but whew Norma and Lester sound like a piece of work.
3

Dec 31, 2017

Interesting to take a peek into the lives of homesteaders. The journey is told with honesty and candor.
4

Jan 08, 2013

This was a very good book. The writing was well done. I would have like to give this book a 5 star because it did really hold my interest. But, I could not because I was so angry with the author most of the time. As I said the read was an interesting one. It was a very exciting journey. But, in some part due to the fact that I felt Norma and Les were two very careless people with the lives of their children. I'm sure the children have grown up to be very strong people, because they really had no This was a very good book. The writing was well done. I would have like to give this book a 5 star because it did really hold my interest. But, I could not because I was so angry with the author most of the time. As I said the read was an interesting one. It was a very exciting journey. But, in some part due to the fact that I felt Norma and Les were two very careless people with the lives of their children. I'm sure the children have grown up to be very strong people, because they really had no choice. I was so angry at the first accident Sean had. It was completely avoidable! He should not have been in a car with two people that Norma and Les barely knew, much less with people that carried a loaded pistol!! When the 2nd incident with Sean and the bear happened it was a little easier to swallow. But then getting burned on his face!! I mean come on! Where were the parents? This child could have died over and over again.

It's ok for two people to decide they want to live the life of pioneers. But to take 5 children into this cruel and unforgiving state, was ruthless. This just all hit a little too close to home for me. But I would recommend this book as a good read. ...more
3

Apr 06, 2016

I found this book interesting. It is the true story of a family who left modern life behind to stake their claim on one of the last available areas of land in the Alaskan wilds to homestead. I learned a bit about 'homesteading' laws: apparently, you could have this area of land IF you proved that you could develop it and make it somehow viable.

So the family moved out to what was, at the time, the middle of frozen godforsaken nowhere and tried to build a house and a life, miles and miles away I found this book interesting. It is the true story of a family who left modern life behind to stake their claim on one of the last available areas of land in the Alaskan wilds to homestead. I learned a bit about 'homesteading' laws: apparently, you could have this area of land IF you proved that you could develop it and make it somehow viable.

So the family moved out to what was, at the time, the middle of frozen godforsaken nowhere and tried to build a house and a life, miles and miles away from any sort of modern convenience, (including medicine.)

While I do have to admire the spirit of the parents to become self-reliant and form a homestead of their own, as an advocate for children I do not feel that their choice was at all appropriate for their young ones. One of their children was, in fact, quite seriously injured during their quest to build a new life in the wild frontier.

For a young couple without children, I can see the appeal of such pursuits, but when one becomes a parent, one must think of the welfare of their little ones above all else, and one of the criticisms I have with this book is that the parents seem to put their own philosophical ideals above the well-being of their offspring. Overall, however, it was worth the read. ...more
3

Oct 25, 2011

Since we are lusting after snow, Jordan picked this one out from the library. It was a good read, really interesting survival-wise. Although more than once I thought about how sketchy these people are (especially the husband). And I could do without the whining about people taking government handouts and the downfall of the Lower 48. Hello? Where did you get your land from? Oh right. The government. I could also do without the long-winded (and incorrect) speech about how wolves were screwing up Since we are lusting after snow, Jordan picked this one out from the library. It was a good read, really interesting survival-wise. Although more than once I thought about how sketchy these people are (especially the husband). And I could do without the whining about people taking government handouts and the downfall of the Lower 48. Hello? Where did you get your land from? Oh right. The government. I could also do without the long-winded (and incorrect) speech about how wolves were screwing up the hunting. But the accounts of the daily life, especially in the winter, were really interesting. Although these people had moments of sketchiness, it is still pretty impressive how they lived (according to Google they are still living at the ranch today, but are hardly roughing it like they were). ...more
4

Mar 01, 2011

Norma Cobb has a story to tell and I'm glad she published this book. She is judgmental towered people that mooch off the government, but wouldn't you after you endured the hardships that she overcame? I don't know which event would have driven me back to town quicker- Sean's gunshot, Tommy's near-drowning, the bear incident (oh, which one?) or Les Cobb's wander through the snow when his snowmobile broke down >12 miles from anywhere. Yes, she puts a big emphasis on the Lord for seeing them Norma Cobb has a story to tell and I'm glad she published this book. She is judgmental towered people that mooch off the government, but wouldn't you after you endured the hardships that she overcame? I don't know which event would have driven me back to town quicker- Sean's gunshot, Tommy's near-drowning, the bear incident (oh, which one?) or Les Cobb's wander through the snow when his snowmobile broke down >12 miles from anywhere. Yes, she puts a big emphasis on the Lord for seeing them through this pioneering life, but again wouldn't you agree fate, God's will or luck was on their side? The Cobbs are not academics and did not bring a wealth of skills when they arrived in Alaska, but they survived and demonstrated an iron will of determination.. Thank you Norma for sharing your story. I'd love to hear what your children have to say. ...more
4

I enjoyed reading this so much, I reread it. That's a big deal for me. Norma Cobb was the last American homesteader, and a woman, at that! The book chronicles their adventure of moving their family of seven to the Alaskan wilderness on the contents of a money sock that must have had a hole in it!Full Review
5

Funny, funny book! Read it; you'll laugh. I might have to re-read it! It is written as a memoir by the last American woman homesteader.Full Review
0

A grinding memoir of life in the Alaskan wild.Joining forces with practiced as-told-to author Sasser, Cobb relates her adventures as Alaska's last homesteader (that is, the recipient of free ...Full Review
4

Oct 22, 2018

“Arctic homestead” Book review

“Arctic homestead” by Norma Cobb and Charles w. Sasser. “Arctic homestead” is a book were a family moved from America to Alaska. This book contains a lot of action, thought, and surprises. The main characters are, Les, Sid, Sean, Tom, Cara, and Cora. The main character’s wife is Donna Sue.

One thing the author did very well is give the book a story line. This book has great characters, a story line, and good action/mini stories. The author also made the characters “Arctic homestead” Book review

“Arctic homestead” by Norma Cobb and Charles w. Sasser. “Arctic homestead” is a book were a family moved from America to Alaska. This book contains a lot of action, thought, and surprises. The main characters are, Les, Sid, Sean, Tom, Cara, and Cora. The main character’s wife is Donna Sue.

One thing the author did very well is give the book a story line. This book has great characters, a story line, and good action/mini stories. The author also made the characters have personality, that's a good thing which a lot of authors don't do. An example of this is they had a bear near their cabin, and they had to figure out what to do. At the same time the characters had very much personality. There is not really anything the author did wrong, other than just misspelling one word, it was “dg” instead of “dog”.

I would probably become the father of the family, since he was the one who had the most adventures and had the most action. An example of a adventure he once took was he was fishing and almost did not find any fish, and his family could not eat for the night. This is one good example of a adventure. One thing I would change about one of the characters would be the wife. She just seems like she was not really there. Yeah, she does stuff sometimes but she is just mostly at their cabin.

There were a lot of times where I had to stop and think, one of the times was, as I said earlier, he was hunting for food and came across a bear. That made me stop and think of what could have happened if he got seen by the bear. Another time that made me stop and think was one of the kids almost fell off a mountain, but the Mom saved him. This made me stop and think, because what would have happened if the Mom did not save him in time.

After reading this book, it made me think how we live in America, and how it would be in Alaska or any remote state. When they don't always have food, water, or any resources.

Overall I think this book is great, and I would recommend it to everyone. But there is some light language, it's not bad. The characters and story are great.
...more
4

Nov 20, 2019

I love stories that deal with survival and people overcoming difficulties and struggle. I also love stories of pioneer life and wilderness living. After I finished The Snow Child I wasn't ready to 'leave' Alaska. This seemed like a great adventure story and it absolutely was. I don't think that the writing is very polished and sometimes I got very tired of her 'attitude' or opinions spouting off that came through on a few different topics. But I just ignored that because ...the story. Oh my I love stories that deal with survival and people overcoming difficulties and struggle. I also love stories of pioneer life and wilderness living. After I finished The Snow Child I wasn't ready to 'leave' Alaska. This seemed like a great adventure story and it absolutely was. I don't think that the writing is very polished and sometimes I got very tired of her 'attitude' or opinions spouting off that came through on a few different topics. But I just ignored that because ...the story. Oh my goodness, how they survived and what they endured was really a gripping read. I laughed out loud and I cried. And I got my husband to read it too, so we could share this 'adventure' together in our warm and cozy home, clear of any bears. I would recommend this book if you enjoy real life adventure stories full of imperfect people making their own way. ...more
5

Jun 22, 2018

I read this book years ago as we transported our son up to Wasilla Alaska to play junior hockey. This book was in a local bookstore there and our entire family has read it. This memoir painted a complete picture of some of the people who made the trek to Alaska to take advantage of the Homestead Act. My own cousin made the same journey decades ago and still resides on his homestead. So we all were engaged through the whole book to see how this family tackled each of it’s next hurdles. I’ve I read this book years ago as we transported our son up to Wasilla Alaska to play junior hockey. This book was in a local bookstore there and our entire family has read it. This memoir painted a complete picture of some of the people who made the trek to Alaska to take advantage of the Homestead Act. My own cousin made the same journey decades ago and still resides on his homestead. So we all were engaged through the whole book to see how this family tackled each of it’s next hurdles. I’ve passed this book on to other relatives and each one has enjoyed it. And since I’m attracted to historical fiction and memoirs anyway this was a great choice. ...more
3

Aug 04, 2017

I read this for bookclub, and ended conflicted. A story about homesteading in Alaska in the 70s is fascinating, but how true? She says she lied and deceived to get the homestead land, which questions her truthfulness & integrity. Then is her repeated foolish choices that not only put their lives at risk but cause the children great suffering. And her husband? He rides rough shod right over all of them. Sure, leave a child in a vehicle with a loaded gun so he can get shot. These two were I read this for bookclub, and ended conflicted. A story about homesteading in Alaska in the 70s is fascinating, but how true? She says she lied and deceived to get the homestead land, which questions her truthfulness & integrity. Then is her repeated foolish choices that not only put their lives at risk but cause the children great suffering. And her husband? He rides rough shod right over all of them. Sure, leave a child in a vehicle with a loaded gun so he can get shot. These two were quite the pair. ...more
0

Dec 28, 2017

Very entertaining read!

This family seemed like in the beginning they wouldn't make it! It seemed like anything that could go wrong would. I'm glad to see they did make it and they did very well for themselves! Now I'll have to look them up when I'm in Fairbanks one of these days.

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