*** Still Points North by Leigh Newman

On the surface, Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home is a standard story of growing up between two divorced parents — but one lives in Alaska, where she was born, and takes her on wondrous and dangerous adventures in the wilderness, which gives the book a memorable spiciness. But it’s more than the exotic locale that makes the book a delightful experience. The author does a great job of telling the story from the perspective of the child she was, whether she is listening to her parents’ guests’ tall tales of wilderness mishaps, trying to escape her mother’s budgeting woes, or the joy of shooting guns. And she also captures the essential awkwardness she has always felt when she gets close to others, whether a friend’s parents or her own husband. Used to being on her own, shuffled between two parents who could not get too close to her for too long, she finds close relationships rather disorienting. A great book about families and children.

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