I read this over the weekend for a local book club, mostly motivated by a desire to refute someone's suggestion that it might be a "man's book." I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to argue about that particular issue, but whatever.
It's a coming-of-age story about a white kid who grows up in an igloo in Northern Alaska, uncool with the local Eskimos, who live in a village, and later uncool in the city of Anchorage. (He does become cool later, though.) It was really an amazing book: the writing was very good (it reminded me of the great writing in Peace Like a River, another excellent first novel), and it's a good, though sometimes depressing story (depressing mostly because of how the government so easily ruins native communities, just like in the old days, but with money and alcohol and free houses instead of guns and alcohol and jes' killin'em).
Anyway, it's amazing to read about life in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. And probably accurate, since the author grew up that way himself (and still lives in Northwestern Alaska). Worth reading.