Spotlight on Alaska Books: Bristol Bay Summer, by Annie Boochever

happened to them now was up to Zoey. The wind and rain didn’t care. Not about
the tent, not about them, not about her screwed up family. Not about the boats
or the fishing nets, and certainly not about pilots like Patrick in their
bargain-basement airplanes who thought they could fly around this wild place
whenever they wanted. The silly pilots who thought they were in control.
since Zoey, Eliot, and their mom left Colorado and her dad, it had seemed as if
their lives had been thrashed around like a blown up tent. And now Bristol Bay
itself felt like it might get torn up and tossed aside by a force so powerful
nothing could control it.
The old
boat smelled of mold, rotting wood, and wet dog. A dreary light sifted through
cracks in the planking. Water began to pool on the floor. . .
“I’m not going!”
12-year-old Zoey
Morley frowned at the raggedy airplane that would take her farther away, to
Bristol Bay on the western edge of Alaska, where she will somehow have to make
peace with 10 million salmon, her mom’s bush-pilot boyfriend, a boy she doesn’t
understand, and the only family she has left.
The ancient
practice of setnet fishing for salmon is the setting for Zoey‘s struggle to
accept the unraveling of her family and a wilderness so huge and strange only
her artist’s heart can find its meaning.
In spite of its
stunning beauty, Bristol Bay spits out one challenge after another. Stalking
grizzlies, a Japanese typhoon, and a plane crash that threatens to end
everything. Will Zoey find the strength to save the one person she wished would
go away? Or will they both end up like the pieces of airplane fuselage embedded
in a cliffside on her first flight into the huge wilderness beyond Anchorage?
Captures the coming of age of a
young adult in this uniquely Alaskan setting and provides insights into the
profound rich cultural heritage of this fishery. A must-read for anyone wishing
to better understand the critical importance of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery
to both feeding the world AND feeding the soul! —Sue Aspelund
fierce and elemental as the land itself. . . takes readers to the edge of the
cliff and back again.
Dahl Edwardson, National Book Award Finalist
Powerful . . .  a story of land and sea and artistry.
—Peggy Shumaker, Alaska State
Writer Laureate
Boochever is a lifelong Alaskan and member of 49 Writers. In addition to
teaching high school English, she was an elementary music teacher and librarian
for many years, during which time she wrote and produced award-winning musical
plays for her students.  Annie lives in
Juneau, with her husband Scott Miller. They have four grown children and a
frighteningly intelligent Dutch dog named ZZ, but that’s another story.
Bristol Bay
Summer is her first novel. She’ll be making several author appearances in Juneau next month; check the 49 Writers Round-Up for details.

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