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Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  20 reviews
All her life, Katherine Keith has hungered for remote, wild places that fill her soul with freedom and peace. Her travels take her across America, but it is in the vast and rugged landscape of Alaska that she finds her true home. Alaska is known as a place where people disappear--at least a couple thousand go missing each year. But the same vast and rugged landscape that ...more
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing
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Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
An incredible memoir!

"I yearn to be part of the symphony of life embodying the perfection of nature but my song is punctuated with the dissonance of human flaws, of which there are many."

At first glance, it felt like this book was about an adventure undertaken by a woman into the remote and wild Alaska. Even the blurb posted on Goodreads, focuses much on Alaska, the life there and about the races.

"Something greater than myself lies ahead, and I am about to change my life one step at a time."

Valerity (Val)
An amazing memoir about a young woman who beats the odds and so much adversity to find her way through incredible challenges and pain. I had to take some time to digest all that she went through after I was done reading it, and then all that she did to work on herself in the latter part. It’s really quite admirable, and I’m glad she had family to help at times. I just flew through this book like a person starved for text, it was so readable to me and kept pulling me along. I was hooked, and had ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
I could not put this one down! This is such a heartbreaking but powerful story. I expected a more practical description of a few dog sled races, but got an amazing powerful memoir of a very interesting person where tragic things happened to. The author has really seen rough times, but is a fighter and I often wondered how can one be so strong? Really inspirational. This is a book that made me think, and I love it when a story does that. Would I do those things? Or how would I react? Why does the ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
The author shares her experiences in to day survival, dog racing, love, loss, challenges.... Living in the wilderness brings hardship, but also a love of life, courage, strength and profound peace.

I enjoyed this glimpse into a lifestyle I have always found intriguing. I could not do what Katherine and others who love living in remote challenging areas face on a daily basis. I enjoyed reading about her life and experiences, but the writing style and disjointed storytelling really
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.

Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing & Netgalley for the chance to read this memoir.

I was eager to check out this book because solitude and adventure go hand in hand for me and are both things I value tremendously in life. When this book was compared to Wild by Cheryl Strayed in the blurb, I knew I had to have it. I absolutely loved reading Cheryl’s story and discovering this subgenre of memoirs through her book.

Overall, this was an incredibly interesting
Fran Cormack
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an early copy of this book.

How does someone survive such loss and still lead an inspiring and positive life? Katherine Keith suffered immeasurable loss and yet her strength to carry on and help others shines through in this memoir of a life less ordinary.
Amanda Yates
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy wow!! Y’all need to read this book!! What a story and a life. Just a very cool journey through a life most of us will never experience.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
***I received a copy through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***

I respect the bravery that it must have taken to write the story and publish it into the world. However, it was hard for me to get into. While I might jump back into it from time to time, it’s not a book that I feel like I have to finish. It’s a bit too “spiritual” for me and the jumping timeline makes it really difficult to get into.
I think this book is probably one that picks up past the halfway mark,
Brian Miller
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really good book about someone destined to live life on her terms and the struggle to achieve her dreams against many, many obstacles. The books tells the life of Katherine who although born in Minnesota, dreams of a life living on her own in Alaska. Her struggles with mental health made me sympathize with her and further things I do not want to spoil for the reader really made my heart go out for her. Against long odds, she was able to raise her daughter to be successful and happy. The second ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy of Epic Solitude.

I struggled to get through this book. The story was present and had a lot of potential, however it took me 2/3 of the way through the book to feel any depth or emotion in the writing. I felt there were a bit too many metaphors early on and the writing jumped around too much.

I give credit to the author for her determination and strength to go through all her trials and tribulations.
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

An engaging and at times heartbreaking memoir about a woman and her love of the outdoors. It was different than I was expecting – there was less focus on dogsledding than on the trials in her personal life, but this was not a bad thing; her life story is at times devastating and told with honesty.

She writes with an openness and clarity that you can tell is genuine; she doesn’t try to sugar coat anything or make excuses. That
Holly Marie
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one you can’t put down and truly is, EPIC. Katherine Keith and her story about determination, hard work, courage, sacrifice, love and grief will linger with you after reading this book. Her story takes you from Minnesota to many adventures to her dream destination to Alaska, where she’s inspired solitude and beauty by being around nature and living outdoors, to leading her own pack of dog mushers and competing in the Alaska Iditarod. What an amazing and inspiring woman she is and I ...more
Sharon Naylor Toris
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great story for a fighter/survivor, as truly challenging situations rise up and characters is developed in the coping. This story is gripping, scenic, and a workout for your emotions. I was captivated and inspired. Very nicely done, very visual. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully written book. The style was both pragmatic and poetic. At time it was a bit too poetic and I got lost at what was going on but overall was really drawn in. I liked the timeline of going back and forth. It was refreshing to read about someone who still faces struggles and wasn't cured by wilderness but found it essential to her wellbeing. It was heartbreaking to read about what the author went through but inspiring to see how she persisted.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Memoirs about women going out into the world to find themselves or their own truths have become a veritable cottage industry since the success of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. While these books became instant bestsellers, the lookalikes they inspired have garnered an ocean of criticism regarding traveling long distances in search of spiritual truths, as though Henry David Thoreau didn’t do the same thing in 1854 and write a classic while his mother did his ...more
Angela Groom
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A brave lady who struggles through life to achieve her dreams.
The book tells the story and life of Katherine a brave soul who dreams of a life most of us couldn’t even contemplate in Alaska.

Her travels take her across America, and finally to Alaska where people disappear and thousands go missing every year. Brutal living conditions are not for the weak hearted and team Katherine just wants the life that Alaska offers - chopping wood, hauling water to just survive.

She meets her soul mate and
Sarah Dykes
Jan 13, 2020 marked it as to-read
DNF at 35%.

I was really looking forward to reading this book as I adore stories of Alaska and outdoor adventure. However, the poor writing and lack of emotion caused me to discontinue. I really wanted to but I just could not bring myself to read more. I think one of the things that did not work in this book's favour was that the author's discussion of the Pacific Coast Trail caused me to compare it to Cheryl Strayed's Wild, and the writing of that memoir is just so much better. This book paled
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A story of love and loss and finding yourself in desperate times. At first I find the book a bit hard to read because of the jumps in time, but you get used to it. It’s a very moving story of a woman, Katherine, who’s struggles to become who she wants to be because of the trauma she is suppressing. When she finally makes it to Alaska everything seems right and she seems at peace. All that she goes through is not something you make up, but it could have been written for one of the most drama ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Epic Solitude is a lot like Strayed's Wild. Katherine Keith had many personal,issues and drifted around. She hiked the Pacific Crest Trail searching for relief and redemption before moving to Alaska. She found love again, only to have most of her family torn away from her in less than two years. Still, she persevered and embarked on many adventures. I did wonder how she managed financially after the end of her second marriage with no visible means of support. It's a quick read and uplifting to ...more
Jan 19, 2020 added it
Shelves: netgalley
I wanted to like this book...I love the outdoors and her descriptions of the nature around her were lovely. But I could not connect to the character. I didn't understand how she was making it through life and dealing with all her medical bills without working, how she could do things without remembering, remember things through drug use, etc.
Katherine Keith
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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KATHERINE KEITH is a wilderness athlete, experience junkie, spiritual questor, long-distance dog musher, and mother to a sixteen-year-old daughter and thirty-five dogs, living above the Arctic Circle in Kotzebue, Alaska. Professionally, and as a jack-of-all-trades survivalist, she is a small business owner, rural Alaska project director, energy engineer, commercial fisherman, and wellness ...more