I've had a hard time convincing people to read this book. My mom pestered me to read this for almost a year, and I reluctantly picked it up from the library. It is now one of my favorite books.
If you think rugged individualism, environmental stewardship, integrity, and, old-school family values are dead, read this book. It is truly inspiring to see a man and his family build a fulfilling, simple, happy life in one of the most inhospitable places on earth.
The day-to-day challenges of living in such an environment (snow machine troubles, very limited contact with the world, "ice bears") and the myriad close calls that Heimo and his family have (hypothermia, accidents, fires) don't prepare you for the description of most heartbreaking incident I've ever seen put to paper. I cried for pages as I read it and am still haunted, 3 years after first reading it.
Although this book is inspiring and uplifting at times, the tone is often melancholy. From the aforementioned tragedy to the eventual creep of civilization into the lives of the Korth's, the ending is bittersweet.
Still, this is the most memorable book I've ever read and dare anyone to walk away feeling untouched by the amazing life of Heimo Korth.