This Much Country by Kristin Knight Pace I am a sucker for anything about Alaska. Aside from its incredible beauty, there is something so fascinating to me about living day to day in an environment that is constantly trying to kill you. That is why as soon as I heard about this book by Kristin Knight Pace about her life there as a dog musher and living in a remote area near Alaska’s Denali National Park, I downloaded it immediately. I prefer to listen to nonfiction versus reading it so the audio for this one was truly perfect.
Narrated by Kristin herself, this book was a really interesting ride through her life in her 20s and 30s. A lover of the outdoors, she quickly moved to Montana upon graduating high school, getting married and working her way through college. When her young marriage fails, she is devastated and accepts an offer to go to Alaska to stay in a friend’s cabin for the winter and take care of his place and his team of sled dogs.
As Kristin recovers from the crippling rejection she feels from her divorce, she grows into a life in Alaska that she truly loves. Learning about mushing sled dogs and surviving in Alaska’s remote wilderness, she finds strength, peace and love. This is an emotional story of amazing bonds between dogs, especially working dogs, and their owners, tough sled dog races over remote country and healing.
As a woman, reading about another strong woman who triumphs over tragedy and hardship is always important and enjoyable but that was not why I loved this book. I truly loved Pace’s descriptive and atmospheric writing which immersed me in the story and helped me feel like I had a seat alongside her as she faced every obstacle with her amazing strength and grit, with Alaska’s stunning beauty and unyielding environment constantly looming in the background.
Also a lover of dogs, I delighted in the relationships she has with her dogs, laughing and crying as these creatures, as much her family members as her human brothers and sisters, display incredible strength, loyalty and athleticism on and off the trail. I would even go so far as to say much of this book is about the dogs as Kristin steps back and gives them a center stage role in the story.
This is one is a no-brainer to add to one of my favorite books of 2019 (so far) and cannot recommend it enough especially for lovers of animals and the outdoors.
What books are on your favorites of 2019 (so far) list?