From the Publisher:
Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.
In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.
From the publisher: The first volume in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure The Lord of the Rings
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Recently I read Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad with a forward by Amal Clooney. It is a powerful first person account of Isis atrocities and genocide against the followers of the Yazidi religion during the second Iraqui Civil War. At the age of 21 Nadia watched as all the men in her village including her 6 brothers, and all the older women including her mother, were killed and buried in a mass grave. Nadia and the younger girls and women were forced into the Isis sex slave trade, where thousands of Yazidi girls were regarded as property to be sold and traded and were repeatedly raped and beaten. After some time Nadia was able to escape to safety with the help of a Sunni man who risked his own life and that of his family to help her. She has since become a human rights activist whose voice will not be silenced in her fight to “be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.” This book, which won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, is a courageous memoir which is sad yet inspiring.
I recently used the Overdrive function on the KPL home page to borrow the e-book The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. This is a first person narrative about a young student named Joe who has an assignment in a college class on Biography to interview someone he doesn’t know. He visits a nursing home and meets a man named Carl Iverson who is serving a death sentence for the murder of a 14 year old girl which he was convicted of 30 years ago. He has been paroled to the nursing home because he is dying of pancreatic cancer. As Joe and Carl come to know each other they develop a trusting relationship and each begins to reveal things about themselves and their lives which they often choose to keep buried. We come to know Joe’s autistic brother, their dysfunctional mother, and his neighbor, Lila. We also meet Carl’s friend, fellow veteran Virgil, who is convinced of Carl’s innocence. Joe and Lila become convinced of it as well, and are able to use the trial transcripts and the victim’s coded diary to finally sort out the truth before Carl dies. As this surprising plot unfolds we learn how guilt affects and influences the various characters. But it also becomes the story of wounded people helping each other, and I think it leaves you hopeful about the human spirit.