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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness
By (author): Robert Specht
9781524798895 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Love & Romance Aug 28, 2018
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.17 x 8 x 0.95 in 464 pages Bantam Dell Bantam
The true story of a young school teacher who braves the Alaskan wilderness and defies a community’s prejudices when she falls in love with a Native Alaskan.

Nineteen-year-old Anne Hobbs is thrilled when she is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a teaching position in a small mining town in rural Chicken, Alaska. Having always dreamed of living on the frontier, she eagerly accepts. Alaska in 1927 is not what she expects, though. Anne is stunned when she encounters the fierce prejudices and rivalries that exist between the mining community and the Alaskan native people. But determined to fulfill her duty, she welcomes children of all backgrounds into her classroom, despite the uproar it ignites among the town. Facing backlash she never imagined, Anne confronts the retorts and ridicule head-on, and finds an ally in Fred Purdy, a half-native man. A tale of both overcoming adversity and finding love, this adventure-filled true story is a must read.

“So appealing are the people here, even the villainous ones; so dramatic is the landscape in which they act out their adventure; so pure is the moral conflict that forms the story’s backbone, and so honest is its sentimentality—that I managed to suspend all my disbelief as I read it. And it was with pleasure that I raced through this good old-fashioned yarn, hissing the villains, holding my breath at each succeeding catastrophe, and above all adoring ’plain old Anne Hobbs,’ as she calls herself, the pretty slip of a nineteen-year-old who in 1927 had the courage not only to brave the Alaskan wilderness as a teacher in a tiny gold-mining community called Chicken, but also to face down the community’s violent disapproval when she dared to treat the local Indians as human beings.” Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Story Locale: Alaska

Publication History: Bantam MM (07/84)


PROVEN TRACK: Continues to sell 40 years after it was originally published, with over 285,000 copies sold to date.

COMPELLING TRUE STORY: This engrossing tale of love, adversity, and perseverance is sure to continue to entice new readers.

Robert Specht was born and brought up in New York City. A late starter, he graduated from CCNY at the age of thirty-two after winning top awards in both short story and essay competitions. Soon afterward he headed for California, where he became an editor in the Los Angeles offices of a major book publishing firm. It was then that he met the heroine of this book and became fascinated with her story. Not until years later, however, after he became a freelance writer, was he able to sit down and devote his full energies to writing it.

Author Hometown: New York City, New York

“The memoir reads like an old-fashioned novel, a heartwarming love story with the added interest of frontier hardships and vividly portrayed characters.”—Publishers Weekly

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