North Of Hope – Shannon Huffman Polson

North Of Hope

Review Copy

Book Review – North Of Hope

Some people experience sorrow beyond anything most of us can even begin to imagine.

On the Sunday after a painful break-up, while her heart was still raw, 33-year old Shannon Huffman of Seattle received a message that would forever change her life.

The message came from a stranger – Officer Holschen of Kakctovik, Alaska.

“Are you related to Richard and Katherine Huffman?” the voice asked.

“I’m Rich’s daughter.”

“I’m sorry to tell you this,” said the voice, “but a bear came into their campsite last night…”

“…and they both were killed.”

So begins North Of Hope – A Daughter’s Arctic Journey by Shannon Huffman Polson – a powerful story of one woman’s journey “over the jagged edge of loss” and into the vast wilderness of grief.

In an attempt to come to terms with such an incomprehensible loss, Shannon finds herself – one year later – in Alaska, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on a quest.

Her hopes?

To re-create her father’s last trip using entries from his journal…

To follow in his footsteps…

To talk to the people who last saw him…

To reconcile with her father, a man she loved but had grown distant from since his marriage to Kathy.

North Of Hope is a powerful memoir that chronicles Shannon’s inner and outer journey through grief. The book is beautifully written  – a slow read that invites reflection and introspection.

The book will interest readers who have suffered loss and are going through a grieving process of their own, as well as readers interested in Alaska, Inuit and Inupiat culture, and wilderness and adventure stories.

Book Excerpt – North Of Hope

Shannon Huffman Polson

What awaits you in North Of Hope? An excerpt from Requiem: Kyrie.

I do not know if song came before prayer, or prayer before song, but I do know that together they are magnified and soar as they cannot do alone. Hebrew and Greek have no separate word for music, nor does the language of the Inupiat: the boundary between singing and speech wavers like a mirage. I come to sing to help me pray, and I come to prayer to help me sing. Sitting in a rehearsal room in a hard metal folding chair every Monday in Seattle after Dad and Kathy’s funeral, I start to sing. I start to pray. I do not know yet that music will lead me to a river.

Book Trailer – North Of Hope

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More Information

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For more great books, visit Create With Joy – Book Reviews!

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from Zondervan / Handlebar Marketing to review. I was not compensated or required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

8 Responses to “North Of Hope – Shannon Huffman Polson”

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  1. Nina @ mamas*little*treasures
    Twitter: mamastreasures

    Hi! Could we include this book review in the May issue of the Ruby magazine? Let me know and I’ll get it in with links back here to Create with Joy! N

  2. Faith Hope & Cherrytea
    Twitter: _eHope

    glad this was yours to review!
    bears are not a fave for me – too close to home with this one …
    thanks for posting 🙂

    I’ve posted Sarah Ladd’s debut, The Heiress of WInterwood – fab Regency read
    Have a great reading week..

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      I actually think most bears are cool – I read a wonderful book many years ago called Summer of the Bears which was about brown bears which befriend a family – but grizzly bears are another story!

      Here’s a little known fact: Legend was originally named Grizzly by the breeder, but we ended up changing his name because grizzly bears are ferocious and Legend is such a sweetheart! (We still call him “Bear” as one of his nicknames though!)

      Thanks for stopping by. I cannot imagine going through what Shannon did. She wrote about it with raw beauty and eloquence.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Sounds like a very good book. Thank you for sharing this review.

  4. thanks fir the book review, I’m always looking for a good recommendation.

  5. Keri says:

    Great review. I also read and loved this book. It’s the kind of book that stuns you with its beauty, even as it describes some difficult things. I have not suffered loss like Shannon did and yet her observations felt applicable to my life–I found myself nodding in agreement at her insights about grief, God and the way that any suffering transforms and strengthens us–eventually. She did not pretend that this was an easy journey, but ultimately, it was a hopeful one. I also recommend it.

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