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The Barrens : A Novel of Love and Death in the Canadian Arctic (Hardcover)

The Barrens : A Novel of Love and Death in the Canadian Arctic (Hardcover)

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"This riveting debut is at once a white-water adventure . coming-of-age novel . and tale of tragic love-and an extraordinary father-daughter collaboration. Two young women attending college decide to have a summer adventure canoeing the rapids-strewn Thelon River that runs 450 miles through the uninhabited Barren Lands of subarctic Canada. Holly made the trip once before with a group of skilled paddlers she trained with at camp . and she wants to share that experience with her friend and lover . Lee . believing it will draw them closer. But a week in . Holly . the risk-taker . falls while taking a selfie near the edge of a cliff. She is left injured and comatose . and soon dies. Their locator beacon for summoning rescue was smashed in Holly's fall. It remains to Lee . the inexperienced paddler . to continue the grueling and dangerous trip alone . to save herself and return her lover's body to civilization and Holly's family. In their relationship . Holly and Lee had always told each other stories; Holly had called Lee a "storyist." Storytelling helps Lee endure the rigors of her journey and engage her grief as she explores her relationship with Holly while chronicling her own coming-of-age off the grid in Nebraska with her estranged eco-anarchist . survivalist father who is now serving time in prison"--Winner of the Minnesota Book Award and a 2022 Great Group Reads Selection
"The Barrens grabbed me from the opening pages and never let go."--Michael Punke . author of The Revenant

Two young women attending college decide to have a summer adventure canoeing the rapids-strewn Thelon River that runs 450 miles through the uninhabited Barren Lands of subarctic Canada. Holly made the trip once before with a group of skilled paddlers she trained with at camp . and she wants to share that experience with her friend and lover . Lee . believing it will draw them closer. But a week in . Holly . the risk-taker . falls while taking a selfie near the edge of a cliff. She is left injured and comatose . and soon dies. Their locator beacon for summoning rescue was smashed in Holly's fall. It remains to Lee . the inexperienced paddler . to continue the grueling and dangerous trip alone . to save herself and return her lover's body to civilization and Holly's family.

In their relationship . Holly and Lee had always told each other stories; Lee had called Holly a "storyist." Storytelling helps Lee endure the rigors of her journey and engage her grief as she explores her relationship with Holly while chronicling her own coming-of-age off the grid in Nebraska with her estranged eco-anarchist father . who is now serving time in prison.
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