LITERCURIOUS BOOK REVIEW
|Publisher||Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged Ed.,|
(Feb. 4 2020)
|Format||Kindle, Hardcover, MP3 CD, and Audiobook|
|ISBN #/ASIN #||9781538557044 / B07XJ8165Y|
‘Iditarod, the thousand-mile dogsled race across Alaska.’
Katherine Keith (2020); Blackstone Publishing; (Feb. 4 2020).
I would say that this work has a universal appeal.
Katherine Keith is epic and so is her manuscript. In a world where people breakdown or have a conniption-fit if their phone runs out of power there are others; extraordinary, resilient, talented, survivors that put the rest of us to shame. Whilst most of us consider we have had a bad day if we miss a phone call or a connection at the airport; this woman deals with exceptional challenges and never fails to meet them head on.
Katherine takes us on a journey from her most formative years as an adolescent and on to her 20’s. Partly forgotten memories emerge and create dissonance that she combats through the implementation of superhuman physical challenges. She tries to rein in her early experiences against the back drop of mountains, wild rivers, and valleys.
At 21 years old Katherine moved to Alaska and performed several jobs before finding her reason to remain. Happiness is fleeting, and an accident leads her to dig deep and change her circumstance. Coping with deep-seated loss, she seeks to drive away the overwhelming sadness with training; ultimately competing in the Iron Man Race and in several triathlons. Practical problems require practical solutions and we are there along for the ride as Keith uses academia to elevate herself substantially, economically, and psychologically. She endures through pilot training and engine malfunctions to earn her private pilot certificate.
One cannot help but feel inadequate for all that this woman achieves through sheer brute determination and personal application. Set against all the trials and tribulations is Keith’s passion for the wilderness and its solitude. In the wilds facing down the elements, living on the edge, and racing across the environment you feel she is the freest.
Interspersed through the book are Keith’s recollections of her Endurance Dog Sled Races. These races include: the Yukon Quest, the Iditarod, the Kobuk 400, and the Kuskokwim 300. They occurred during a period that spanned from 2012 to 2017 set against numerous and increasingly destructive personal experiences.
I am filled with admiration for Katherine Keith’s ability to get up again and again and continue fighting. She is all the more exceptional as she was also a single parent with all the responsibility that brings.
Her spiritual beliefs she found to be irreplaceable. When times were at their worst, she gained solace in their tenants. We are left in no doubt that without her core beliefs she would have had to struggle even harder to survive.
I have no reluctance in recommending this book to you. Katherine Keith’s tale is genuinely epic, as is the woman herself. After all the adversity, grief, heartache, misery and misfortune Katherine has never given up on her goals. She is currently working her way to climb 7 Summits in 3 years.
They are as follows:
- Mt. Everest
- Mt. Elbrus
- Vinson Massi
- Carsten Pyramid
- Puncak Jaya [AKA Mt. Koscuiuszko]
When she isn’t planning the next adventure, she can be found working in her company with John Baker, owners of Remote Solutions, LLC based in the town of Kotzebue, Alaska. They provide the community with essential project management support and design tailored for remote communities.
My sincere thanks go out to: NetGalley, the Author, Katherine Keith, Blackstone Publishing (2020) for affording me the opportunity to review; Epic Solitude.