This real-life gripping narrative takes place at age 23, when newly wed, and author of this book, Deanne Burch accompanies her husband Ernest “Tiger” Burch to the tiny Inuit village of Kivalina, in a very remote part of Alaska. It was his idea to move here to conduct a study of the lifestyles of those who lived in this part of Alaska. This was in 1964 and the village had no plumbing, running water or electricity. The difficulties of being ‘outsiders’ and learning to adjust to both cultural challenges, loneliness as well as survive the brutal winters are an integral part of this story.
Deanne was a city girl up until this point – the ability for her to adapt to harsh and challenging situations and reach internally for such strength in time of adversity is remarkable. And then their harsh winter becomes even more difficult. The couple barely survives a camping trip in minus 30+ degree Fahrenheit temperature; when they return to Kivalini, Tiger is severely burned in a kerosene lamp ignited fire in their tiny home, severely damaging his lungs, hands and face.
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