After her parents are killed in a rare grizzly attack, the author is forced into a wilderness of grief. Turning to loves she learned from her father, Polson explores the perilous terrain of grief through music, the natural world, and her faith. Her travels take her from the suburbs of Seattle to the concert hall where she sings Mozart's Requiem, and ultimately into the wilderness of Alaska's remote Arctic and of her heart.
This deeply moving narrative is shot through with the human search for meaning in the face of tragedy.
Polson's deep appreciation for the untamed and remote wilderness of the Alaskan Arctic moves her story effortlessly between adventure, natural history, and sacred pilgrimage, as much an internal journey as a literal one. Readers who appreciate music or adventure narratives and the natural world or who are looking for new ways to understand loss will find guidance, solace, and a companionable voice in this extraordinary debut.
Shannon Polson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Seattle and Alaska Magazines, Cirque Journal, Adventure Magazine, among others.
She served eight years as an attack helicopter pilot in the Army and worked five years in corporate marketing and management roles before turning to writing full time. Polson serves on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League and sings with the critically acclaimed Seattle Pro Musica. She has looked for adventure and challenge anywhere she can find it, scuba diving, sky diving and climbing around the world, including ascents of Denali and Kilimanjaro, and completing two Ironman triathlons. She and her family enjoy backpacking, any kind of skiing, paddling, and spending as much time outdoors as they can in the Western states and Alaska. In September 2009, Polson was awarded the Trailblazer Woman of Valor award from Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell.
Shannon talks about how she dealt with her grief in the death of her father and step-mother. She writes about her feelings of loss, and her journey to a better understanding of what happened. She is searching... And her search takes her back to Alaska; to the same river and location where the bear killed her parents. Shannon included some interesting facts about the arctic conditions, culture and people. Usually, I enjoy reading books such as this one, because it helps me reflect on the reality of life, loss, trials, and appreciate every moment God gives me to live and fulfill His calling. But, honestly, I have struggled to get interested and through this story. I guess in a sense it just wasn't exactly what I expected. Not to discredit the author though, she is simply telling her story, and I can certainly empathize with her grief. And most likely, to a person who has gone through an equal tragedy, the book may take on a more personal meaning. It just wasn't for me.
*I received this book from Zondervon and Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*