This book is a difficult one for me to review. Parts of it were utterly fascinating. Parts of it ripped my heart out. Other parts made me roll my eyes at the sappiness.
Reading about Ernt, a former Viet Nam POW with PTSD was incredibly sad. The man Ernt ultimately became, as opposed to the glimpses of the man he probably was at one time, was horrifying.
I loved reading about Cora. Taking a city girl and placing her in a shack in the Alaska Bush (with no electricity or running water) would have been the end of me! I'm still amazed by how she became a woman who successfully adapted to that way of life. The total dysfunction of her relationship with Ernt was so very difficult to read, however.
Oh, Alaska! I totally fell in love with the descriptions of its beauty. I fell in love with most of the other characters, as well. Especially Large Marge. Tom Walker. Thelma. There was so, so much I loved about Ernt and Cora's daughter, Leni - and Tom's son, Matthew. They were such a wonderful support system for each other when they were in their early teens. But four years later is where the book started losing its strength, in my opinion. This was where Leni and Matthew's relationship started becoming mega-sappy.
Having written all of that, however, the good definitely outweighed the bad.