2017 Reading Challenge discussion

Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
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15/A nonfiction book > Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia

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Sarah (sekaplan) | 54 comments If you don't know about the Pilgrims, stop reading right now and do a Google search for Papa Pilgrim. It's that kind of story - something everyone who is of age should know about, but also scary as shit because it really happened. There were more than a few moments where I felt extremely voyeeuristic while reading this story, and that is not a comfortable feeling for me.

Kizzia remained fairly objective through out what must have been a story that is very hard to be objective about, and in the places where he inserted himself it made sense. I hope the children and their mother are doing well and I appreciate the candidness of the older children of Robert Hale. I really do believe that those who survive abuse and speak out about it save lives.

I like the writing style, but if you don't like reporter-style writing, I would not suggest this book. The children and mother informed some of the story, but it is not written in their voices, so some may find that the reports of abuse lack emotion. Lastly, this book is full of triggers, so just beware of that.


Melissa I had heard about this a little bit on I think the show Alaska Frontier. Just added it to me To-Read list. I didn't know that there was a book about it.


Anne (librarianguish) | 636 comments Mod
I read this last year and found it to be very gripping. I don't read a lot of this sort of book, but the specifics interested me, especially the Alaskan wilderness aspect. We all know Alaska is still pretty wild in places, but dang! This was totally out of hand. The control he wielded over the family was sad, but I suppose that's how sociopaths work.

I recommend it.


Melissa Just finished this one for this category as well. So sad that the children lived with this crazy man for so long!!


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