Death. That one word brings to mind heartache, lost moments, grief, and questions of why. Death by a bear attack. Those few words bring even more pain and horror as well as a deeper questioning of why. When that death is your parents the pain is buried so deep that it leaves you crying and heaving in the dust while tears stream down your face and your heart feels as if it will disintegrate. How do you cope with that kind of pain and keep living? That is what Shannon Huffman Polson both faces and answers in her memoir North of Hope. Polson combines her path to healing along with the story of her journey to retrace the steps that her father and stepmother took while traversing a river in Alaska. She brings to life the flora and fauna of the wilderness of Alaska which were the sights before her own eyes and the journal entries by her parents. As she travels to the very spot that her parents were killed, she draws closer to healing and acceptance of the event.
Polson’s memoir is one of those books that you will find yourself torn between wanting to voraciously read the pages and desiring to read slowly while mourning with her. It is a wonderfully written story of her grief and healing, her faith, and her acceptance of life and death. I received this book free for review from Handlebar Marketing and find the book to be excellent.