Spotlight on Alaska Books: Out of the Wilderness, by Deb Vanasse

bear reared up on its hind legs with a grunt, sniffing at the air. It opened
its mouth, releasing an eerie series of woofs, primitive sounds like those a
cowering dog would make. But the bear wasn’t cowering. It stood erect, its
black coat gleaming.
             His father had told him, had told him and
Nathan countless times, that a bear woofs just before it charges: before it
charges to protect its young, before it charges to protect its food. The smell
of decay seemed to suddenly overpower them. Had the wind picked up? The thought
came to Josh as if through a fog.
             “Shoot, Dad,” he urged in a loud whisper. He
could feel Nathan upon them, could see his arm reach forward to topple the
             At the same time, a shot rang out and the
rifle clattered to the ground at Josh’s feet.
(from Out of the Wilderness, by Deb Vanasse)
Survival. It makes for exciting TV, but all Josh wants a
life that passes for normal. A real house, not a cabin in the woods. Hockey,
not hunting to put food on the table. Girls. But his half-brother, Nathan,
wants to prove himself in the Alaska
wilderness, and their father won’t let him do it alone. Josh’s prospects
brighten when an intriguing girl visits remote Willow Creek, but Shannon
is entranced with his brother. As Nathan’s behavior grows stranger—and more
dangerous—Josh confronts the dark side of what it means to be his brother’s
“Never mind those Alaska reality shows—this is the real Alaska. Deb Vanasse writes with the authority of one who’s
been there, her prose as fresh and piercing as a winter sunrise. As one of her
characters tells us, ‘once you’ve been in the wilderness, a part of it will
always be with you.’ This coming of age story, like the Alaskan wilderness,
will leave a lasting mark on those it touches.” Debby Dahl Edwardson, National
Book Award Finalist, My Name Is Not Easy
“…[A] chilling winter’s tale.” Publisher’s Weekly
“The complex interplay of feelings in this troubled family,
set against the pristine beauty of backwoods Alaska,
imbues an already compelling read with a refreshing combination of action and
psychological depth.” Kirkus Reviews
Founder of Running Fox Books and co-founder of 49 Writers, Deb Vanasse has authored twelve books. Her
current projects include
Cold Spell,
a novel about a woman who’s obsessed with a glacier, a narrative nonfiction
book called
Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Last Great Race for Gold, and No Returns, a middle-grade novel co-authored with Gail Giles, featuring three
boys who accidentally summon the devil. She lives and works on
Hiland Mountain outside of Anchorage, and at a cabin near the Matanuska Glacier. On August 16 and 17, she’s
hosting the last free promotion of the Kindle edition of Out of the Wilderness.
Free promotion for your Alaska-related book! Click here to learn more about our Spotlight on Alaska Books feature.

1 thought on “Spotlight on Alaska Books: Out of the Wilderness, by Deb Vanasse”

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top