Book Thoughts · First Impression Friday · Meme · nonfiction

First Impression Friday – Pilgrim’s Wilderness

Happy Friday Everyone!

Week four of school has come to an end (or is about to)…I can’t believe it! I live for the moment when this meme comes up, knowing that I’m headed into the weekend!


First Impression Friday(4)

Pilgrim’s Wilderness:

A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier

Author: Tom Kizzia



Here’s the premise:

“When Papa Pilgrim, his wife, and their fifteen children appeared in the Alaska frontier outpost of McCarthy, their new neighbors saw them as a shining example of the homespun Christian ideal. But behind the family’s proud piety and beautiful old-timey music lay Pilgrim’s dark past: his strange  connection to the Kennedy assassination and a trail of chaos and anguish that followed him from Dallas and New Mexico. Pilgrim soon sparked a tense confrontation with the National Park Service fiercely dividing the community over where a citizen’s rights end and the government’s power begins. As the battle grew more intense, the turmoil in his brood made it increasingly difficult to tell whether his children were messianic followers or hostages in desperate need of rescue.

In this powerful piece of Americana, written with uncommon grace and high drama, veteran Alaska journalist, Tom Kizzia uses his unparalleled access to capture an era-defining clash between environmentalists and pioneers ignited by a mesmerizing sociopath who held a town and a family captive.”




Being back in Alaska, I wanted to read something set back here. I don’t read nonfiction often so when “Pilgrim’s Wilderness” showed up on sale in my ebook deal email, I jumped at the chance to buy it. Then it took me ages to download it and get it started.

I’m 11% in and am having a hard time picking it back up. Nonfiction is almost always like that for me. The story and details seem scattered and hard to follow. It doesn’t help that I can’t quite picture where it is and what is happening (regardless of how many times it has been described).

So far the family has merely arrived in the area. I think once the drama picks up it will get better. They seem a little off and “creepy”, but maybe that’s because of the premise that I read before starting it. Either way, they are a good bunch of musicians!

It’s probably a great read for people that really really like nonfiction. For someone, like me, who tries occasionally to branch out of their usual reads, one must be interested in a few aspects of it at least.




  1. The older kids will rebel – prediction based on the first few pages of the book.
  2. It’ll be a long one for me to get through with multiple books finished in between and on my mood’s whim.



Check it out on Amazon!



What is First Impression Friday?

It’s a chance to talk about any and all thoughts as you start a new book (be it one page in, one chapter, or more)! I also often find that by the time this post is up…I’ve finished the book and have moved on to other ones…with a review typed and scheduled to post… 🙂 So really, join at any stage! Thank you thank, J.W. Martin, for hosting!


2 thoughts on “First Impression Friday – Pilgrim’s Wilderness

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