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Waltz with Me, Alaska.

Waltz With Me, Alaska

Donna Blasor-Bernhardt, JADA Press

Jacksonville, FL

ISBN: 0974750115, $19.95, 271 pp.

I met the author, Donna Blasor-Bernhardt a couple years ago on an Internet list. Through her emails, and visiting her web site, she encompassed everything I associated with being Alaskan. When she announced the release of her book pertaining to the thirteen months Donna and her family lived in a tent, I knew it was one book I had to read.

Donna, Dick, and their two children left Anchorage in 1977 to find the Alaska Donna and Dick remembered as kids. As summer drew to a close, they finally found their new home, in the last place they ever expected to live, Tok.

Blasor-Bernhardt takes the reader on a journey that will linger long after the last page has ended. I found myself alternating between laughter and tears as she shared her life with me.

She takes the reader from the harsh reality of life in the tent during -70 degree weather, to the beauty of Alaska flawlessly.

"After once again shoving a log into the stove, then squirting the roof (a chore they did constantly to keep the tent from catching on fire), I noticed the frost had moved higher up the inside of the tent walls. I could almost see it moving. Knowing the temperature was dropping rapidly ... I decided to go outside and check the thermometer.

"A spectacular night greeted me.... The sky ... was filled with stars that fairly leaped from their places in space. They flickered like swarms of fireflies attracted to the North Star. Mountains glowed beneath northern lights dancing gracefully to an unheard heavenly symphony. A full moon shown over us all. Nearly bright as day, frost sparkled brightly on the tree boughs."

Waltz With Me, Alaska will appeal to any reader who wants to learn about Alaska. Not only the beauty of the 49th state, but the harshness, and the people who call Alaska home.

As I read Ms. Blasor-Bernhardt's words, I felt as if I were sitting across the table from her, listening to her confide what she and her family had endured during those thirteen months. When they went hungry, I felt their hunger. When the temperature dropped outside and inside their tent, I shivered, though it was summer outside. As they overcame each obstacle, I cheered for them.

This is a true story of the Bernhardt's rediscovery of their love for Alaska and their family. Donna writes for the Tok newspaper, has been featured in countless newspapers and magazines, including Peter Jenkins book, Looking for Alaska. She has self-published five books of poetry, two short historical books, two recipe books and a children's book. Donna is poet laureate for Tok and the Alaska Highway.

A complete list of her other works, including her latest detailing the building of the Alaska Highway, Pioneer Road, can be found at
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Author:Pryor, Jody
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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