The stunningly beautiful Grace, Miss North World, has disappeared after moving to
to attend university. (The cover photo above by the author is a vivid evocation of the fictional Grace.) The last the family has heard is that Grace was on Anchorage Four
Street. The infamous street, filled with strip
clubs and cheap bars, has been the end for many young indigenous Alaskans who
have left their rural homes for the city lights.
Nathan sends the little information he has on Grace to a friend on the Anchorage Police Department. Nathan expects little as years have passed since Grace was last seen in
Back in Chukchi, Nathan’s relationship with Lucy Generous, a detachment dispatcher, is sexually intense and emotionally charged. Lucy describes their sex as “melting bliss”. Lucy yearns for more than a handsome trooper to share her bed. Nathan finds it hard to commit more to their relationship. He has yet to resolve a sense of abandonment over his Inupiat mother, Martha, giving him up for adoption as a baby.
Lucy is dismayed when she sees Nathan entranced by the photo mural of the exquisite beauty queen Grace on the school wall. She senses an attraction for Nathan that he has never felt for her. Grace’s fox eyed loveliness has beguiled her Nathan.
The relationship is further challenged when Nathan, designated to go to
computer training, decides he will spend some time looking for Grace on Anchorage Four
What could have taken the lovely intelligent Grace to using drink and sex on
to reach oblivion?
Nathan’s quest for Grace takes him past
to other distant edges of Anchorage .
What he finds laves him forced to consider societal and family relationships. Alaska
The author takes on some big issues from a northern perspective. While I found the resolution predictable I admire the willingness of Jones to approach big issues from a wider perspective than authors committed to expressing a message in their books.
At the end there were a pair of remarkable court cases. One managed to induce the rare combination of disgust and laughter. The other displayed a cunning manipulation of the judicial system.
The northwest coast of
the northwest corner of Alaska North America, is a wild and
rugged land. Jones creates vivid images of the country and people of Chukchi. I
have come to love my book visits to Chukchi in the same way I enjoy going to
the fictional village of Three Pines in the Eastern Townships of Quebec in the
Inspector Gamache series of Louise Penny.
Each book in the Nathan Active series deals with an issue of modern indigenous life. In Frozen Sun it is the tremendous challenge of adaptation from rural to urban life.
Frozen Sun is a good mystery. It is a better exploration of life and love and loss. (Feb. 3/13)
****My reviews of the earlier books in the Nathan Active series and a profile of Stan Jones can be found at the following links - (2009) - White Sky, Black Ice; (2010) - Shaman Pass; (2012) - "J" is for Stan Jones
****I expect to have an interview with author, Stan Jones, next weekend. I anticipate having a post with questions and answers shortly after.