Teton County Library Call No: 979.82 LENDE
Mark A's rating: 4 stars
On a road trip to Alaska along the famous Alaska Highway, I had the chance to visit Haines, Alaska. I didn’t take the 100 mile detour that day. After reading Heather Lende’s book about life in Haines, I wish that I had. I have visited other small Alaskan towns like it though. I still see in my mind the steep forested mountains that come all the way down to the water. I hear the stories of the people of those towns that seem to have been living there forever, but most came from someplace else. They were going to someplace, Alaska. Some were escaping someplace, but they didn’t always want to talk about that part. Some of them fished for a living and some worked in the local library. If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name explores that part of our land and tells some of those stories with a very personal touch. Be prepared to be touched.
Suzy's review ****'s
I read this book while I was on vacation in rural Vermont, where I grew up. My friend, who is a local bartender commented, "I heard you were in town!" I laughed because news travels fast in a small town, and Heather Lende says everyone in Haines reads the news to make sure they "got the story right."
The author writes obituaries for the local newspaper, but explores the lives of the people in her small community. As Mark said, Lende's stories touch your heart. I found myself crying several times while reading this book. Life in rugged, rural Alaska creates and attracts characters that are larger than life. Lende tells their stories with dignity, and compassion.
This book would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys reading about small town life, people, their feelings, and resilience. Outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventurers will enjoy reading about the landscape, and surrounding forces of nature.