Boston Globe Review
The Globe has weighed in... and they like it! (I love the first line...) Here's the whole review:
TAKE GOOD CARE OF THE GARDEN AND THE DOGS:
Family, Friendships, and Faith in Small-Town Alaska
By Heather Lende
Algonquin, 304 pp., $22.95
Take a hike, Sarah Palin. Here is the real thing — good old-fashioned American values coming from small-town Alaska. In a cozy, chatty voice, Heather Lende tells stories of life in Haines, Alaska, where, as the title of her first book claims, “If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name.” In fact, she knows not only the names but also the stories of all her neighbors — the protective owner of the vicious dog that preys on her chickens, the men who hunt and cook bear with her husband, the women who can salmon, sing in the church choir, and survive or succumb to cancer, and the young man who carelessly runs her over with his truck and shatters her pelvis, as well as the volunteer fireman and ambulance crew who save her life.
This accident, which nearly killed her and took her a year to recover from, made her more responsive, kind, and compassionate to her family, her friends, and her world. It also made her reclassify people into two types: “the ones who have had something bad happen to them and the ones who will.” Big-hearted as she is, she has trouble forgiving the killer dog and the inattentive truck driver. But accepting life and rejoicing in the world are her preferred modes of thinking and feeling. She quotes with approval from Emerson, “the proper response to the world is applause.”