Book Review: The Right To Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

brrReviewed by: Savannah
Genre: Biography
Format: Softcover
Page count:  368 Pages
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
In stock: Yes

Now I’m just going to start off with a little disclaimer about my review. I kind of feel awkward reviewing biographies because who am I to say that someone’s life isn’t ‘good enough’ for my taste so this review isn’t too in depth. Now that that’s out of the way I’ll hook you up with the Goodread’s synopsis,

“The Arctic ice is receding each year, but just as irreplaceable is the culture, the wisdom that has allowed the Inuit to thrive in the Far North for so long. And it’s not just the Arctic. The whole world is changing in dangerous, unpredictable ways. Sheila Watt-Cloutier has devoted her life to protecting what is threatened and nurturing what has been wounded. In this culmination of Watt-Cloutier’s regional, national, and international work over the last twenty-five years, The Right to Be Cold explores the parallels between safeguarding the Arctic and the survival of Inuit culture, of which her own background is such an extraordinary example. This is a human story of resilience, commitment, and survival told from the unique vantage point of an Inuk woman who, in spite of many obstacles, rose from humble beginnings in the Arctic to become one of the most influential and decorated environmental, cultural, and human rights advocates in the world.”

This is the fourth book I have read and reviewed for the 2017 Canada Reads shortlist. I have to admit that I did have a slight struggle trying to read and complete this book as most of it read like a textbook with so many facts and references. Which isn’t a bad thing at all; I just found it hard to get through as I’m not as pulled into non-fiction as I find I am by fiction. I also know that I didn’t absorb about half of the facts that I should have from reading it. But I’ll probably receive points for at least attempting, maybe, so thank you Canada Reads.

I did however, find that despite it being a biography it really wasn’t as personal as I’d have liked. Anytime a personal story came up it was either dry or just very vague and impersonal. Especially for a book all about putting human faces on the climate change issue; it just didn’t give enough of a personal story to it, in my opinion. It is still however a really important book to read as it is about climate change which is very real and scary issue, so I feel bad giving it such a low rating.

Overall, I found the book to be decent and had a very important message but there were too many facts and not enough ‘story’. The main message was really important and good to hear but it did slightly get lost in all of the facts and the textbook feel to the book. I will admit that it is definitely not in my top picks so far for Canada Reads this year. All the power to you though if you do decide to try to conquer this book.

 

 

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