Book Review by The Farmer’s Lamp

The Farmer’s Lamp


Winds of Skilak – An Alaskan Adventure

By Rhonda Crank

Winds of Skilak is A Tale of True Grit, True Love and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness written by Bonnie Rose Ward. It’s their true story of leaving suburban America and moving to the wilds of Alaska.

Winds of Skilak

Late last summer I entered a giveaway by TrayerWilderness. Since I never win anything, I was shocked to receive an e-mail from Tammy saying I had won a book by Bonnie Rose Ward.

Homesteaders don’t have much leisure reading time until fall and winter. So I decided to add this book to my winter reading list. As you know, every October I begin reading the Little House on the Prairie series so I intended to add Winds of Skilak to be read when I was done. We had to make a sudden move from the deep South to the wilderness of northern Idaho mid November of last year.

We moved into the guest cabin of our friends. The cabin has no electric, running water, or plumbing. We heat and cook on a wood stove and carry water to the cabin in 5 gallon buckets. We eat, read, and work by lamplight and battery-operated headlights. What does this have to do with Winds of Skilak? I want you to have a mental image of the environment in which I read this mesmerizing, enchanting book.

I kept feeling drawn to open this book so I paused my Little House on the Prairie reading and picked up Winds of Skilak.

Me being me I started with the dedication page. I don’t like to skip anything in a book. I was immediately drawn by the love and affection the author expressed to the people in the dedication.

The bold opening of chapter 1 spoke so deeply to the ideas and feelings of my husband and I with our recent experiences. You will feel and experience the deep longing, pain, and conflict of both Bonnie and Sam Ward as you journey with them from the decision to leave the life they had built for themselves and follow their dream of moving to Alaska.

You will weep, even as I do while writing this and remembering, as they bid farewell to their family and friends. The image Bonnie paints of Sam and his father walking the farm for the last time together hand-in-hand moved me to weeping. You will experience the joy of seeing how all the planning Sam and Bonnie made, how their friends and family helped and contributed to their dream, encouraged them, and how the Lord provided for them in unexpected ways from people to things.

When Bonnie and Sam finally reached the shores of Skilak Lake I stood in terror beside her as the storm raged on the lake and she wanted to run home. You also feel the excitement and adventure in Sam as he is prepared to face the unknown and care for Bonnie and their dream.

If I could do a chapter by chapter review of this book I certainly would. There are so many stories to share and experience on their journey. You are immediately drawn into their unknown and unexplored world of adventure.

There are heart aches, health crisis, helpful angels, happiness, and heavenly lessons. When Sam drives Bonnie out onto the ice for the first time I found myself there with her. Once I read through the adventure, I realized every muscle in my body was tense and I had been holding my breath. When the ice began breaking up and they were spinning I was panicked with her. I knew she was okay, she lived to write the book. But you are so involved in the story it’s hard to think past that.

Every day when my husband would come home I would share the adventures of Bonnie and Sam with him that I had read that morning. When I finished the book, he laughed at me because when he came home I was sad. When he asked me what was wrong I said, “I feel like I’ve just been separated from dear friends.” That’s what you will feel.

Many times during the book the Lord spoke to my heart as Bonnie recounted the blessings, watchful care and tender mercies God showed towards she and Sam. He reminded me His arm is not short, He knows where we are and what we need and He will provide in His own way and in His own time.

You will laugh, you will cry, you will be angry, you will rejoice, you will be happy as Bonnie shares their adventures with you. If you only read one book this year, give yourself the pleasure and privilege of reading Winds of Skilak.

 Be sure to share Bonnie’s book with your friends and family. They will thank you for allowing them to enjoy Sam and Bonnie Ward’s journey of true grit, true love and survival in the Alaskan wilderness. Visit their website Frontier Home: Living Off The Grid and let them know how much you enjoyed the book.

You can connect on Facebook at The Winds of Skilak. She is also sharing her email address with you: so you can share your experience of the Winds of Skilak with her. I’m excited to share with you that she is currently in the process of writing a sequel to share more of their dentures with us.

Safe and Happy Journey

Rhonda and The Pack

The Farmer’s Lamp


Categories: Alaska, Bonnie Rose Ward, Book Review, Homestead, Off grid, Self Reliance, Skilak Lake, Wilderness living, Wilderness Survival, Winds of Skilak | Leave a comment

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