SRP Review: Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward

Review by Christina Freeburn

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

winds of skilakThe book I’m reviewing today is a non-fiction book titled Winds of Skilak: A Tale of True Grit, True Love and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness. The heroine (and the author) is Bonnie Rose Ward.

I was drawn to the setting and reading about a woman willing to go outside her comfort zone and live a life different from what she knew, and far from where she called home. Even though Bonnie was following her husband’s dream …originally… I found her strong and determined. She loved  her husband and made the choice to follow his dreams, she was also making the choice based on her convictions and beliefs. I admired how she was willing to share her weak moments and fear. At times she was terrified and questioned the decision of moving to Alaska, but she didn’t allow fear to dictate her life.

I loved reading the details about the wilderness, Alaska, and the Wards simple life style. What I loved most was getting to know Bonnie and seeing everything through her eyes. She has such an open heart and honesty in her writing that I was drawn into story. I read non-fiction as I like seeing how the world, life, and situations are viewed by others. It gives me another way to look at the world … and at times encourages me to reevaluate what I thought I knew about a situation in my own life. It makes me pause and look past my view and consider how the someone else might perceive it.

There was an event that happened in the book (I won’t elaborate as I don’t want to give it away) involving a neighbor that I first felt wasn’t fully addressed. I wanted to know how Bonnie came to terms with and what was said to the neighbor after the incident. I was confused why it was never brought up again. It dawned on me that the reason Bonnie didn’t mention it again in the books was because she forgave. It wasn’t an easy forgiveness. She shared her anger, heartbreak and how she struggled with it. Bonnie also shared how she opened up to God and prayed about it and was able to forgive her neighbor.

I realized Bonnie didn’t mention the incident again because she was showing forgiveness. It wasn’t because the author forgot to “tie it up” for readers, or an “editing” issue (as I’ll admit was my first thought) but that is how forgiveness works. It isn’t dwelt on. Isn’t rehashed even in the mind. It’s done. Over. Bonnie’s ability to forgive so truly is what I admire most about her and left me in awe. I hope one day I can have that type of “pure” forgiving nature that the incident doesn’t need a big act of closure on it for it to be done. I’d like for “I forgive” to be enough.

Winds of Skilak Review by Christina Freeburn can be seen on her blog: The Self Rescue Princess. Link below!

SRP Review: Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward.

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8 thoughts on “SRP Review: Winds of Skilak by Bonnie Rose Ward

  1. Michael Sayre

    I would like to enter my book review;

    277 word book review
    Winds of Skilak

    The Ohio natives are determined to build a home on the island that no one wanted. The rain, wind, snow, and cold are not enough to change or stop these people from settling in their new home. Being in Alaska is a challenge by itself, let alone being on an island with wild life and continuous harsh weather conditions.
    I enjoyed being taken from one hard task to another. The physical pain and suffering from not having the daily luxuries of life, we take for granted, were right there in front of the reader.

    Caribou Island proved to be wild, unpredictable, cold, windy, and dangerous. Even after being asked several times by locals, “you are going to do what, live on Caribou island?” The park ranger told them they were crazy! Suddenly, Bonnie had a question for Sam, “you heard the man, this place is dangerous.”
    Then Bonnie thought, does this man fear anything? No, not with Sam’s determination.
    Before their home would get built, they went through more physical sufferings. Sam broke his back, seriously cut himself with an axe, had sleepless nights, Bonnie worked harder than most men her own age, and she had the scares to prove it. They also ran up on a bear as he was eating grass. The couple froze in their tracks as they watched the bear from a distance.
    I have been in the Alaskan wilderness, but not face-to-face with a large brown bear. The way I was put in the scene really made me turn more pages. This story really has all the ingredients for of true adventure in the wild!

  2. Maria

    Hello Bonnie:
    I love your book, how you express your feelings and thoughts, and how you describe your life during that beautiful and special adventure.
    Are you thinking about writting a second part?
    A curiosity,… after Bill left Caribou Island, did you know anything about him ? I think he was a very special person, wasn’t he?
    And the last request: Apart from your book of course, could you recommend any other book about life in wilderness? I have also read “Castaway” by Lucy Irvine, but may be you can propose another one.
    Excuse me if there is any mistake in this note but i usually don’t speak english !
    Thank you very much !!!: Maria.

    • Hello Maria,

      Thank you for your kind word about my book. I’m so happy to hear that you loved our story! You asked about a second part. Yes, indeed, I’m working on a sequel right now. We never knew very much about Bill, and never heard from him again, when he returned to California. We never even knew where he lived. Yes, he was very special. An angel in disguise! You asked about other similar books. I really enjoyed Norma Cobb’s Arctic Homestead. I’ll have to check out “Castaway” by Lucy Irvine. Thank you for taking the time to write me, Maria! I hope you stop by again. I love corresponding with my readers. Bonnie

  3. Karen

    Tremendous book, it is hard to put it down for much needed sleep. One of our book club members purchased the book for our monthly read and the book is circulating through the members. I am so thankful you wrote about your experience’s from a woman’s perspective. Taking a leap of faith is something many of us want the courage to do and we get held back. Hopefully the younger women will read about your experiences and decide go follow their dream. Karen

    • Thank you, Karen! It always excites me to hear my book has been chosen for a book club! I actually met with a book club in California last month via Skype, and it was great. I really enjoyed it. Where is your book club located at?

  4. Bonnie, I thoroughly enjoyed your story. When I read the one star reviews, I thought, “They’re jealous.” Jealous that you have the Lord. Jealous that you have a husband you submit to. Jealous that you and Sam had the guts, good health, and determination to do what they could only dream of. God bless you, Bonnie, and I want you to know the best part of your book for me is your Godly wife attitude toward a strong man like Sam. I have a similar man and do understand, and I’m happiest when I submit unto him, therefore submitting unto the Lord. Thank you!

    • Hello, Jean Ann,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading my book. I am happy to hear you enjoyed our story. I just thank God that the majority of my reviews are 4 and 5 stars. I am truly grateful to my readers and fans of Winds of Skilak. So grateful in fact that I am dedicating my sequel to them because of their continued support!

      Jean, I checked out your website and must say I am impressed! I see you are also an author and your books look to be very inspiring. I hope we can continue to chat and become friends, as I think we have much in common, among them, being our love for God, husband and family! I wish you great success in your writing and publishing endeavor.

      Sincerely,

      Bonnie

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