Flight of the Goose
A Story of The Far North
The book begins with these words: Who am I to tell a story?
It is a novel published in 2005 and written by Leslie Thomas.
Leslie Thomas grew up on a fishing boat in rural Alaska in the late 1950’s.
She weaves a riveting story about an orphan, traumatized by her past.
Kayuqtuk seeks respect in her traditional Inupiat village through the
outlawed path of shamanism.
Her plan leads to tragedy when she interferes with scientist Leif Trygvesen
who comes to research the effects of oil spills on salt marshes-and evades
the draft (Vietnam war). The story is told by both perspectives, that of the
young man from Seattle and the young woman who is slowly finding her powers
as an Angutkok, the Inupiak word for shaman.
For me this is a beautifully written tale of spiritual awakening, redemption
and love in a time when the old Eskimo ways are vanishing forever. Leslie
Thomas takes us into a world where cold is both nurturing and unforgiving. A
time when human warmth and people’s relationships to the harsh environment,
are becoming less familiar to those who live in it.
Seals and birds who were intricate parts of the village life are now
Leslie Thomas¹s writing is both emotional and descriptive. I felt completely
taken into this world of snow and ice, awed by the short and exquisite
summers as well as the passion evolving between the two main characters.
Flight of the Goose welcomes the reader through a mysterious door into the
old ways of a village, that no longer exists in modern times. To me it is so
evocative that for a few days I lived with Leif and Kayuqtuk “the red fox”.
My world disappeared and the Arctic village life became more real to me than
my own life. This to me, is the essence of a great novel, for the reader to
live with the story as if it were their own.
Flight of The Goose challenged my world view and opened my heart.
This story is the story Leslie Thomas has written but it is also my own
story told in a strange environment.
I have given 5 copies of this book away and I intend to continue seeding
this book to my friends.