Book Review: Braving It by James Campbell

I have this thing about books about Alaska.  I've read dozens and dozens.  I was sure I'd enjoy reading this one and I was not disappointed. 

The book opens with Mr. Campbell taking his daughter to spend a summer in Alaska to help build a new cabin for friends who frontier.  He knew that his daughter was naturally athletic and competitive.  He felt sure she would enjoy the experience, though it involved physically taxing work.   He was well aware of the dangers he was exposing her to, having previously lived there.   Mr. Campbell observes his daughter's mental and emotional growth as she pushes her limits physically, enduring hardship and hard work.

A second visit  occurs in late Fall to the same cabin and friends.  This time his daughter learns to hunt, trap and survive a typical Alaskan winter, with all the dangers of freezing, falling through thinning ice, as well as the experiences.  His daughter's relationship with Edna and Heimo  deepens as does her love of the Alaskan wilderness.

I urge you to read this book.  It is well written, and explores the mental strain as well as the physical and emotional toll of parenting and living in the Alaskan wild. His pride in his daughter as she tests her limits also clearly comes through as does his strong father's love for her as he allows her to test her strengths in that age old and oh so difficult dance of being protective and letting go.  The juxtaposition of those descriptions next to his daily life in Wisconsin are cleverly done.  It amplifies the differences of 'civilized' rural life to Alaskan frontier life.   His great fondness for his friends' as well as his admiration of their abilities in dealing with daily life in the Alaskan wild comes through in his writing, as well.  I'm adding this book to my bookshelf for keeps.  I shall enjoy it again and again.

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books.


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