North of Hope
A Daughter's Arctic Journey
By Shannon Polson
(Zondervan, Hardcover, 9780310328766, 256pp.)
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
List Price: $16.99*
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After author Shannon Huffman Polson's parents are killed by a wild grizzly bear in Alaska's Arctic, her quest for healing is recounted with heartbreaking candor in North of Hope.
Undergirded by her faith, Polson's expedition takes her through her through the wilds of her own grief as well as God's beautiful, yet wild and untamed creation ultimately arriving at a place of unshaken hope. She travels from the suburbs of Seattle to the concert hall, performing Mozart's Requiem with the Seattle Symphony, to the wilderness of Alaska where she retraces their final days along an Arctic river.
This beautifully written book is for anyone who has experienced grief and is looking for new ways to understand overwhelming loss. Readers will find empathy and understanding through Polson's journey. North of Hope is also for those who love the outdoors and find solace and healing in nature, as they experience Alaska's wild Arctic through the author's travels.
Polson graduated with a B.A. from Duke University in English Literature, an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and an M.F.A. from Seattle Pacific University. She served eight years as an attack helicopter pilot in the Army and worked five years in corporate marketing and management roles before turning to writing full time.
Polson serves on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League and sings with the critically acclaimed Seattle Pro Musica. She has looked for adventure and challenge anywhere she can find it, scuba diving, sky diving and climbing around the world, including ascents of Denali and Kilimanjaro, and completing two Ironman triathlons. She and her family enjoy backpacking, any kind of skiing, paddling, and spending as much time outdoors as they can in the Western states and Alaska. In September 2009, Polson was awarded the Trailblazer Woman of Valor award from Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell.
-Terry Tempest Williams, author, When Women Were Birds
"Daring, perceptive, and eloquent--Polson's writing is clear and forceful. Like all true pilgrimages, this one is challenging, and well worth taking."
- Scott Russell Sanders, author, Earth Works and A Conservationist Manifesto
"Polson's extraordinary journey draws you into the depths of anguish and brings you back out realizing that while not all things fractured can be healed, the soul will gravitate toward beauty, art, and meaning if guided in the right direction."
- Alison Levine, mountaineer, polar explorer, and team captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition
"North of Hope is an enthralling story of loss, courage, and redemption told by a gifted, original, and brave new voice, Shannon Huffman Polson."
- Robert Clark, award-winning author of ten books, including Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces and Mr. White's Confession
"This is no ordinary memoir. To read it is to be changed."
-Jeanne Walker, author, New Tracks, Night Falling
"Shannon Huffman Polson has written a book about loss that is both unique to her personal experience and universal to the human experience. She writes with clarity, honesty, and poise."
-Andrea Palpant Dilley, author, Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt
"North of Hope, Shannon Polson's gripping account of the shattering, traumatic loss of her father, is a must read. It is a gift to everyone who reads this powerful, inspiring story."
-Janet Hanson, CEO and founder, 85 Broads
"North of Hope is a remarkable story about the power of the wilderness both to harm and to heal, and to provide strength and sustenance to the human spirit, no matter what the challenges."
-Nicholas O'Connell, author, The Storms of Denali