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North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey By Shannon Huffman Polson Book Review

In North of Hope, Shannon Huffman Polson shared her journey in grieving for her father and stepmother’s death. One day, she was with her brother and his wife at an open air market and she received the dreaded phone call that nobody ever wants to hear. There has been a terrible tragedy that forever changed her life. Her stepmother and her father lived in Alaska. They were travelling and exploring the wilderness when a bear came upon their campsite and the bear brutally killed them. Shannon Huffman Polson found their notebooks and journals which in details described their actual whereabouts and which route they took. A year later, she gather up her adopted brother, Ned and his work colleague, Sally and they travelled the exact route. She discovered that the bear that killed her father and stepmother was a barren-ground grizzly and they are very aggressive creatures. The book described in full descriptions what Shannon experienced and saw along the way. The book also covered the relationship and memories of her father and stepmother.

She revealed her disappointments and her feelings of always trying to please her father. All she wanted was her father to be proud of her and she struggled with living for herself. For example, she shared that she went to Airborne School and when she came home for a visit. Her stepmother removed all of the pictures of the children and had a random friend’s child photo on the kitchen counter. Her dad reassured her that he remembered each of his children being born and he has the memories. I can definably understand how that would make anybody feel unwanted or unloved. I would have most likely reacted the same precise way. That pointed out to me that children see everything that you do and they look to their parents for their value and worth. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is undergoing grief and they are looking for encourage from someone who has been there. Shannon Huffman Polson story will inspire you to enjoy every moment with the ones you love deeply. Her journey in Alaska wasn’t an easy ride, at times it was extremely painful. I loved how Shannon Huffman Polson was very real and transparent about the grief she experienced along the journey. She elucidated that she hated getting asked, “Are you over it yet?”and “Have you moved on?” These questions are the type of questions people shouldn’t ask when you lose a loved one. How are you supposed to answer that? Does that bring you any comfort? You don’t ever get over people you care about and love. The memories you shared together still lives inside you. If you’re looking for a book from an author that has suffered tremendous lost and is willingly to help others through the pain, then read this one!


"I received this book for free from Handlebar Marketing/ Zondervan for this review".


 If you would like to purchase a copy of North of Hope, check it out on



Book Trailer:


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