Reminiscent of the best of Matthiessen, Dillard, and Erlich, Leslie Leyland Fields's Alaskan memoir is an inspiring narrative of life in the wild.
"Surviving the Island of Grace" is a beautiful and haunting memoir of a woman who left the East Coast and moved to Alaska looking for a new life. In brilliant prose, Leslie Fields tells her story of adapting to life on a wilderness island without running water, telephones, or other 20th century conveniences. Here, as a 20-year-old newlywed, she is immersed into the world of commercial salmon fishing. With an unflinching gaze, she explores the extremes that define her new life: the beauty and brutality of commercial fishing, the startling land and seascape around her, the isolation, the physical labor, the intensity of communal island life. Among these extremes, she must find her way from a young woman to wife, commercial fisherwoman, and mother. She explores as well, perhaps most eloquently of all, her unique New Hampshire childhood and its role in preparing her for her life in the bush.
With its dramatic Alaskan setting and moving narrative, "Surviving the Island of Grace" is a poetic and powerful book.