This novel is an amazing tale of living in a small town in Alaska around the 1970s. A PTSD survivor is bequeathed a cabin in Alaska by a friend from the military. Because life is rough for him and his wife and 11 year old daughter, he seeks an escape. Alaska appeals to him. The three of them move to Alaska completely unprepared for the long winters and the isolation. There are people in the town that help them get started to catch their own fish and store it for winter, to grow their own crops for winter, to get together with other townfolks for companionship. They arrive in spring and have a long time to prepare for winter, but then it arrives. They are taught to hunt with guns. The father insists the young girl learns to shoot a gun to protect herself. They meet the father of the friend who willed the cabin to them. He is paranoid about protecting himself against "them". So he teaches the father of the girl to always carry a gun to protect against animals and people. The running thread throughout the entire story is the spousal abuse by the girl's father. He frequently beats the mother and mistreats her, especially when he drinks. It is a common story, but the question is, how does the mother deal with him? She always takes him back and loves him deeply. The girl can see this is not good, but does nothing; she is just a child. She meets a young man at school. They grow up together. Finally, an altercation occurs where the father physically attacks the daughter when she is a teen. The mother realizes this is the last straw. The story unfolds from there. Emotional torture for the reader. The description of Alaska is beautiful, the wildness, the way of life, the isolation. Kristin Hannah is able to keep the reader spellbound. Definitely worth reading.