His father a white trapper, his mother an Athabascan Indian who once walked a thousand miles in winter to reunite with her family, Jimmy Huntington learned early how to survive on the land. Huntington was only seven when his mother died, and he cared for his younger siblings, survived numerous hardships, and became a championship sled-dog racer.
Atz Kilcher learned many vital skills while helping his parents carve a homestead out of the Alaskan wilderness: how to work hard, think on his feet, make do, invent, and use what was on hand to accomplish whatever task was in front of him. He also learned how to lie in order to please his often volatile father.
Much later in life, as Atz began to reflect on his upbringing, he discovered that the work of pioneering the frontier of the soul is an infinitely more difficult task than any of the back-breaking chores he performed on his family's homestead. Learning to use new tools-honesty, vulnerability, forgiveness, acceptance-and building upon the good helped him heal and learn to embrace the value of resilience. This revised perspective has enabled him to do the most rewarding work of his life: mapping his own inner wilderness while drawing closer to his adult children.
"Personal, honest, charming, and often funny. It's the rare cowboy who can rope, yodel and write. Atz is one of those." -Tom Bodett, humorist, author, and panelist on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
"Years of brave reflection-and, as he's quick to add, professional therapy-turn this pensive homestead confessional into a small triumph of redemption." -Tom Kizzia, New York Times bestselling author of Pilgrim's Wilderness
"With incredible courage and honesty, Atz invites the world into the deepest recesses of his soul. Pain, fear, redemption, forgiveness-it's all in there." -Bonnie Rose Ward, award-winning author of Winds of Skilak
"Very seldom do we get windows into our parents' private lives with such honesty...This book...proves anyone can find forgiveness, love, and even change at any age." -Jewel, singer and daughter of Atz Kilcher
"As a son, I cried tears of forgiveness; as a father, tears of regret and pain; and as a warrior of everyday life, tears of love, fear, and victory! A must-read!" -Atz Lee Kilcher, son of Atz Kilcher and star of Alaska: The Last Frontier