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Beyond Road's End: Living Free in…
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Beyond Road's End: Living Free in Alaska

by Janice Schofield Eaton

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am always interested in a good story about Alaska. It's a place that holds endless facination for me. Although I enjoyed parts of this book, most of it was a disappointment. I had a difficult time with the writing style, particularly the conversations that had to have occurred years earlier. They felt very forced and stilted. I did enjoy the descriptive parts of the book, including interesting details about homesteading and edible plant life.
I also found it difficult to understand why the author left her husband on the spur of the moment for a man she barely knew. I wondered if there was more to the story. ( )
  lesliecp | Oct 29, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beyond Road's End is a memoir of sorts. Written about her years living off the land in wild Alaska, Janice Schofield Eaton recalls her life with husband Ed (who was deceased at the time of the book's publication). I liked this book, but in many ways, felt that the writing was rushed. In other words, the author had so much to say that she felt compelled to say everything in a sort of minimalist manner. The people in this story often lack warmth; the setting seems sparse (even for the cold Alaska), and the plot seems hurried. With that said, I learned a lot about Alaska and its history and people. ( )
  karenweyant | Oct 10, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book, because I always have had a fantasy of building a cabin and living more simply in a way that is much harder work than I am probably willing to do. The writing is odd, but not bothersomely so, consisting largely of reconstructed dialogue which moves the story along quite rapidly, too rapidly, I think., almost in a Cliff Notes manner. There is material here for several good books and the only one that is very rich in detail is the Alaskan life, and some of the author's study of native food and medicinal plants, and her teaching herself how to write and photograph a publishable book. The plant seminars and teaching story, the New Zealand story and the eventual leaving of Ed while he has a terminal disease, are barely hinted at or skimmed over in the narrative. Much is made of impulses and quasi-spiritual experiences such as fire-walking, which strains credibility and will not serve as a useful model for many people. But, as I say, it was interesting to read.

The main problem for me is the lack of a moral center in much of the narrative. The author leaves her own husband in a flash to live with someone who is flying under the regular job, tax, and social security radar to avoid child support. Whatever excuses he has may be good enough, who can say? They move to Alaska. Large parts of their homebuilding in Alaska, involve various fortuituous happenings unlikely to happen to most of us. They are often able to recycle/obtain materials from former failed Alaskan enterprises, both commercial and domestic, in ways unlikely to be available to other who might try this, and who fail to have the social and mechanical skills and talents to move easily into Alaskan local society. Eating herbs, smoking dope, raising cabins, fixing machinery and making practical furniture. ( )
  jhhymas | Sep 21, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was pleased to have been selected as an early reviewer for Beyond Road's End: Living Free in Alaska. As a true "city girl" I went into this book expecting one thing and closed the cover blessed with something entirely different.

The story of Jan and Ed's adventure dances from resourceful and educational introduction to edible and medicinal Alaskan plants (and writing a book on the same) to a touching love story where two people set off to capture their collective dream. Throw in some spiritual awareness, political activism, loving and supportive community life and a theme of "what goes around, comes around" and you are treated an enjoyable view of this couple's journey.

A great book for those of us who love to live side by side with storytellers as they experience something that enriches their lives. Jan and Ed's passion for Alaska is contagious and sharing it was a beautiful gift to this reader. ( )
  harpervalley | Sep 7, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting book. The story itself was fascinating, but I found the writing uneven and sometimes disjointed. It felt like it hadn't been properly edited. That being said, the story of Jan and Ed's journey to Alaska and their adventures living off the land was fun to read. ( )
  FionaCat | Aug 30, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0882407546, Paperback)

This adventurous couple came to Alaska from New Hampshire with dreams of living richly in the wilderness on ten dollars a day. Ed brought his experience as a builder, and Janice brought her New England work ethic. Together they fell in love with the heartbreakingly beautiful landscape of the Far North.  Part love story, part adventure, and part natural history, this book is a touching memoir of carving out a life in the wilderness, building a log house, and living life to its fullest.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)

This adventurous couple came to Alaska from New Hampshire with dreams of living richly in the wilderness on ten dollars a day. Ed brought his experience as a builder, and Janice brought her New England work ethic. Together they fell in love with the heartbreakingly beautiful landscape of the Far North. Part love story, part adventure, and part natural history, this book is a touching memoir of carving out a life in the wilderness, building a log house, and living life to its fullest.… (more)

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