This is an interesting novel of a senior couple surviving a Cessna 172 crash on route from Whitehorse to Prince George. Bill, the hero, tells us how he prepared a shelter in the wild for himself and his passenger Gail, whom he came to know in a retirement community. Trusting God as their situation becomes more dangerous, having seen definite evidence of a grizzly going through their possessions and then an attack. There were plenty of other adventures too, some scary and some potentially life changing and deadly. We experience the search efforts by the Whitehorse Civil Air Patrol, their wait for weather to clear and rescue. But life beyond this accident becomes complex. There are moral decisions to make and a killer to elude.
Hardgrave is a detail man and there is way too much detail in this novel for my taste. Interaction between an airport control tower and the plane upon approach to land is given verbatim. He writes elsewhere, “I took my thirty-six inch axe ...” (50) And we read Gail recounting the many experiences to her kids, the ones we just read through in the previous pages. (114)
The book would have benefited from additional editing. Hardgrave writes twice in the span of three sentences that Gail refused to leave her apartment after her husband died. (9) And, “As a child, Gail walked through the Mojave Desert to get to school every day ...” (40) My goodness. That's some 40-50 miles. In general, the sentence structure, sentence length, flow, etc., would have benefited from additional work.
This novel is an immersion in a survival effort in the wilds and the dangerous activity of sluicing for gold. There are good descriptions of Alaska and other remote areas. While there are allusions to Christian faith, there are also allusions to sex outside of marriage.
My rating: 3/5 stars
Robert Hardgrave, a parent, a pilot, and retired schoolteacher, followed his dream of publishing a novel. He currently lives in California.
Ewings Publishing LLC, 210 pages
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through SBC Global. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)
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