Like a bitterly cold Northern wind, Allister's narrative seems to get right into your bones. His writing is fresh, honest and descriptive. When yoou turn the last page you find yourself wanting more.
This book will resonate with so many who like the author have found themselves disenchanted with the status quo. His life journey follows his internal Mapquest in search for ways to tap into his desire for connection. This memoir is forthright, frank and captivating leaving the reader wanting to read more from this author.
The pictures are beautiful, breathtaking, and descriptive of this way of life. It was genuinely delightful to read about an individual taking back his life, and re-birthing himself into a world of simple needs.
Fantastic read - couldn't put it down. Funny & exciting with a good balance of chuckles & tears. Can hardly wait for your next publications. (I'm sharing it on Facebook, too)
FANTASTIC READ I could not put the book down I don't read a lot but this book had me in tears, it was exciting it moved along but it kept your interest. There were times I laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes, hes so honest with his feelings good read and cann't wait for your next publication.
I bought a hard copy from a local shop and thought it would be an interesting read, based on the cover synopsis. I am so thankful I ran across this gem. Although I did not know it at the time, Alastairs' spiritual journey over the span of many years reflected my own. I too, upon retirement had more questions than I did answers. Retirement had left me with a sense of purposeless and an
emptiness that I had not previously experienced. The courage that Alastair exhibited with his inner odyssey challenged me to look closely at my own path and the values that I had held onto for so long.
The reason why I like this book is that it inspired me to revisit my own life. In so doing I made lot's of notes in the margins of this fine memoir.
The author is faced with many challenges that test his character and resolve. Hopefully he will continue to write about his newest exciting adventures for a long time to come.
Alistair Henry’s “Awaking In The Northwest Territories” captures a life lesson that we all will face. As soon as I started reading it I had to decide, do I devour it now, or do I savor it a little at a time, like dried caribou strips? He gained the insight to understand himself and others. He helped me understand why people of other cultures can be happy in a life-style unfamiliar to me. If you have wondered what it would be like to live in the north "Awakening" is a vivid description, the next best thing to being there, and you will learn more about oneself.
Thank you Alastair for a gem of a book. I am not an avid reader but picked this up because of a similar adventure in my past from which I underwent a transformation. Thank you for the insights and aha moments in standing back from what we consider our reality to see the world through a new lense. I loved so many character descriptions and trials to overcome in your book. Best of luck in all your adventures
Alistair Henry’s “Awaking In The Northwest Territories” captures a life lesson that we all will face or have faced. As soon as I started reading it I had to decide, do I devour it now, or do I savor it a little at a time, like dried caribou strips? He gains the insight to understand himself and others. He helped me understand why people of other cultures can be happy in a life-style or in situations that I would not like. If you have wondered what it would be like to live in the “north” Awakening is a vivid description, the next best thing to being there, and learning more about oneself.
"I found Alastair Henry’s memoirs to be both eloquently described, motivational and inspiring. This book is certainly worth a read and comes highly recommended.
Alastair was destined to travel and discover new challenges throughout his life. This memoir is a tale of a man’s struggle to find happiness and spiritual peace. This tale
begins in Bolton, Lancashire and follows his life’s journey to the far northern reaches of the Northwest Territories at Lutsel K’e not far from Yellowknife where he
became a General Manager and manages the affairs of the Dene band.
As a Buffalo Airways fan, I was keen to find out more about life in the Northwest Territories and know more about the people and because of Alastair’s ability to tell his
story in such a colourful way, I found this book a delight to read. Alastair’s descriptions of the landscape and his dealings with the complicated Dene community brought
the book to life. His stories are both humorous and entertaining and I look forward to reading more about Alastair’s life.
This book gets a five star rating"
This review is from: Awakening in the Northwest Territories: One man's search for fulfilment (Kindle Edition)
This review can also be found at http://exzorders.com/reviews/awakening-northwest-territories-mans-search-fulfilment-alastair-henry-review/
This is an excellent memoir written in a plain language. I wish I could get my hands on more books like these. This is exactly how memoirs should be written. Thankfully there are not too many idle philosophical musings which would have bored me to death. Rather this book is realistic and full of action from start to finish.
The opening chapters of the book describe a seemingly timid Henry for whom even a mere dream is enough to leave him with the feelings of confusion and helplessness:
"I was eleven when I first had the dream, or whatever it was, as I’m not quite sure. It wasn’t a nightmare, nor was it scary – it was just exhausting, and caused me to break out into a sweat and wake up. I wouldn’t have remembered it had it only occurred the once, but it didn’t. It came back many times over the next three or four years, and each time it left me feeling weak and puzzled. And it wasn’t as if I could opt out of the dream whenever I wanted to because I couldn’t."
Who would have thought that this boy would not only be able to adjust himself to the harsh, cold weather of Canada’s Northern Territories but also adjust himself to the lifestyle and culture of the aboriginal Dene people there who are like, culturally speaking, ages far behind Henry. Yet that is exactly what he did. Would anyone leave his family and corporate business success far behind for an adventure like this which is full of pitfalls? But Henry did just that. He describes his travels in a very lucid language which makes it easy for almost anyone to relate to his journey. From the book's blurb and description I had thought that this book is not my cup of tea, but a few pages down I realized how wrong I was! The book is filled with photos which make it an even more fascinating read. The epilog is about what he'd learned from his spiritual journey of self-fulfillment.
"When one considers how much more we know about everything today than we did a hundred years ago, and how the quality of life for the average person has improved with time, we can be hopeful that in future generations, the “ideological differences” problem and “the fame and money” obsessions will get resolved, and man, as a life species, will become much more enlightened and happier."
Amen to that, and thanks for writing this excellent and absorbing book, Mr. Henry. I for one admire your courage and perseverance; it is truly commendable.
Often, the problem with memoirs designed to leave a lasting legacy for future generations is that the life of the author is only of interest to their designed readership. Author Alastair Henry states that he wrote this novel primarily for his children, grandchildren, etc. Whereas one may be interested in their grandfather’s history – so as to have a greater understanding of their own identity – reading through the life story of a stranger can be a dull and empty experience. Yet this novel proves to be anything but.
The author takes us from his modest beginnings in a church fearing England, to his corporate success overseas in Canada, and eventual retirement. No financial burdens. A beautiful and secluded home. By all accounts, he’s won the game of life. Yet the journey is only beginning.
Following an epiphany, Alastair realizes that he’s searching for a new adventure, and decides to return to work. The universe seems to direct him far north, where he takes a job managing an aboriginal community. And this really is the heart of the novel – what truly makes it work.
Through Al we explore the workings of the Dene community, an Indian tribe based in the northern frozen terrain. A fish flung far out of water, Al must quickly acclimatize to the workings of a new land and people. What lessons and social norms he’s learned through life suddenly have little power in this world. Perhaps stubbornly, he tries to evoke change, but is only beginning to understand that the real change required may be in his way of thinking. And so, this eager reader read on, wondering what would give first: the author or the community?
I loved learning about the nomadic Dene people, and felt as though I was living a new life as I read. Often I would return to the book to find a moment of peace, and to escape a hectic day. Most importantly, the novel allowed me to examine my own way of thinking, and to re-evaluate what’s important in my own life. It will do the same for all readers, though what answers you find will be your own.
No doubt due to the author’s private journals, and his memories, he creates fully formed characters from his past. But the community as a whole, and the unforgettable setting, are the strongest characters of this work. It has been a long time since a location was brought so vividly before my eyes.
The language is crisp and clear; the author does a wonderful job of transporting you into a foreign land, in the middle of a far northern, icy world. Similarly, he effortlessly explains his thought processes in a vastly accessible style that will have you firing through the pages.
A real sense of optimism exists throughout the work, where even when there are down moments there are times of light waiting close by. Largely, the work stays relevant to the themes that bind the story together. Perhaps the book could be a little tighter; one or two scenes set in the community, particularly later on, as the book feels like it’s winding to a conclusion, could have been safely omitted.
By forging such a fascinating and distant world for the reader, and by communicating a powerful and thought-provoking message, ‘Awakening in the Northwest Territories’ transcends the boundaries of memoirs. No, this novel is not just for his grandchildren and their children, it’s for everyone.