Echo through the Snow by Andrea Thalasinos

Echo through the Snow is a new book that is set in and around Bayfield, Wisconsin and in and around the Red Cliff Reservation from 1992-1994 and in far northeastern Siberia mainly in 1929.

In 1992, Rosalie is nineteen years old. She dropped out of high school to marry Jerry. She has low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and has trouble keeping a steady job. When she rescues a Husky named Smokey, she finds the courage to divorce her cruel husband Jerry. While caring for Smokey she becomes friends with Jan and Dave who race sled dogs and with the local veterinarian Charlie who lived in Alaska and knows Robert Ramsay, an elderly, legendary dog sledder. Jan and Dave offer Rosalie a job working with their dogs, and Rosalie finds that she has a knack for dogs and dog sledding. Rosalie continues her beading work as part of the Red Cliff Beading Guild when she is not working with the dogs and makes friends with Dan, her father’s co-worker.

Alternating with Rosalie’s story is the story of the Chukchi people of northeastern Siberia who valued their sled dogs and called them “the Guardians”. In 1929, the Soviets removed the Chukchi from their traditional land and tried to erase their culture. Jeaantaa is a Chukchi who is a keeper of the Guardians and wife of Tariem. She runs away with the dogs rather than see them be killed. Tariem survives the forced removal, but no one knows exactly what happened to Jeaantaa.

The two stories come together at the end with the sled dogs at the center. This is a moving and sometimes tragic story with interesting facts and powerful descriptions about the Chukchi, sled dogs, and sled dog racing. It is also a story of a young woman coming into her own with help from her dogs. If you like poignant books, especially ones with a Wisconsin setting, then give this book a try!

 

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