This profound young adult novel, written by a fourth-generation Alaskan, examines the 70’s-era culture of so many small towns in that part of the world, where domestic violence, alcoholism, child abuse and poverty are still the highest in the nation. The story is told in alternating voices of young adult characters, voices that intertwine as they seek to survive, understand and overcome the past. Beautifully written with deep knowledge, Hitchcock’s book was chosen for Kitsap Regional Library’s One Book, One Community program. It should be on every high school’s reading list as well. It reminds us that houses always smell better when there is a mom inside. Ages 12 & up.
When Josie loses her dental practice in a lawsuit and her husband finds another woman, she journeys to Alaska with her two young children, hoping to experience some resolution and adventure in the juncture between her old life and whatever’s next. Josie’s disdain for contemporary society is insightful, her humor down to earth, and the situations this trio find themselves in are memorably hilarious. This is not a “poor me” woman, but someone who knows she must come to terms with her past, provide for her children and find a place they can call home. I wish I had been along for the ride.
Both titles are staff favorites from Julie at Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island, WA. For a list of staff’s top titles from 2017, click here. (Look for another favorite Alaska-set book by a beloved Alaskan author and so many other great reads.)