What I’m reading during Social Distancing (Founder: Erin Woodward)

3 min read

I know many people have more time on their hands during this strange time, not all (shout out to health care practitioners and front line workers) but many – I actually have less time.  My business has certainly taken a downwards slump and I spend time figuring out how to “pivot” (I hate this word now) but more importantly I’m spending time considering how best to support my community of members and hosts.

The biggest change is my son (19 months) is now at home, so by now that’s a well-worn juggling act between my husband and I as he is also still working and gets called out for emergency services (he’s a plumber). So I’ve not exactly caught up on my TBR list – but I have finally opened a book that a friend mailed me. When I got it I was shocked, I called her “seriously, you bought me a book?” In non-pandemic times, we see a book a day arrive at our house from publishers and authors alike – so someone buying me another book seems completely crazy. I’m also in the fortunate position of being able to request any book I like without much trouble and this friend knows this – so for her to mail me a copy meant it must be a pretty special book!

The book sat untouched in the corner of my office for the past 8 weeks – it’s a big commitment, over 500 pages – The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I don’t really know how I missed this book when it came out in 2018. We read The Nightingale to much acclaim in book club which just makes it stranger that it’s never crossed my desk. Two things could be true – 1. The Nightingale was such a success for Hannah and I always wonder if an author can pull it off a second (or third or fourth) time and I have been sorely disappointed on many occasions. 2. Historical Fiction isn’t my favorite genre. Either way, I missed it and if I didn’t have such high regard for this particular friend I wonder if I would have picked it up at all.

Thank goodness I did. I am on page 300 and am completely captivated. I love everything about this book and especially the time and backdrop – it’s written about the 70’s in Alaska and it’s completely the right book to read during social distancing. The community is completely isolated having no running water or hydro, they are mostly cut off from the outside world and rely heavily on nature for entertainment and their livelihood. It’s the incredible story about Leni Albright and her family who move to Alaska after her father is given a house by his deceased friend who died fighting in Vietnam with him. The family is completely unprepared to live off the grid and deal with the dangers of an Alaskan winter not to mention the demons that plague her father.

I’m only on page 300 – so I can’t attest to how it all wraps up but it’s been the perfect book to get lost in over the last week. I highly recommend you read it if you haven’t already and for those of you who have, if anything happens to Matthew, I’m not going to be happy! ha.

Happy Reading – Stay Safe.


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