GREAT HEART | Davidson & Rugge

GREAT HEART | Davidson & Rugge

It’s rare to return to a book a decade after reading it and find that it has grown, or more accurately, it has kept pace with my own evolution as a reader.  I am a more critical reader now, probably due to the flight of years. There are ever more books to read, yet less time in an increasingly busy chain of days.  Eleven years after reading GREAT HEART – The History of a Labrador Adventure I find I am once again transported by the story of Mina Hubbard’s fierce search for the truth about her husband’s death in Labrador’s unforgiving wilds.

I wrote an anonymous review of the book on Amazon in November, 1999, and upon returning last evening to see how the book is doing I discovered that my review is featured as the most helpful ‘positive’ review.  While I appreciate that other readers rated my comments as helpful, I was disappointed that other readers hadn’t long since eclipsed my own comments in support of this good book.

Here is what I said:

Using Leon and Mina Hubbard’s diaries, as well s those of their guides, Dillon Wallace and George Elson (great character!), Davidson and Rugge reconstruct the extraordinary story of a woman’s search for the truth behind her husband’s death in 1903.  They flesh out the facts, give form to the unspoken fears and desires hidden between the lines of desperate journal entries, and then skillfully breathe life into the tragic events.  A powerful docunovel in a class all its own.  Don’t miss it.

Others have been compelled by Great Heart. In 2000, author and freelance journalist, Alexandra J. Pratt attempted to retrace Mina Hubbard’s 1905  560-mile route by canoe through the sub-Arctic of  Canada’s Labrador, but a century of forest overgrowth defeated her team’s effort.  In 2002, Pratt published Lost Lands, Forgotten Stories, A Woman’s Journey into the Heart of Labrador.  I look forward to reading Ms. Pratt’s take on this story.