Point of Direction

Point of Direction

4.6 10
by Rachel Weaver

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Hitchhiking her way through Alaska, a young woman named Anna is picked up by Kyle, a fisherman. Anna and Kyle quickly fall for each other, as they are both adventurous, fiercely independent, and in love with the raw beauty and solitude of Alaska. To cement their relationship, they agree to become caretakers of a remote lighthouse perched on a small rock in the middle


Hitchhiking her way through Alaska, a young woman named Anna is picked up by Kyle, a fisherman. Anna and Kyle quickly fall for each other, as they are both adventurous, fiercely independent, and in love with the raw beauty and solitude of Alaska. To cement their relationship, they agree to become caretakers of a remote lighthouse perched on a small rock in the middle of a deep channel—a place that has been uninhabited since the last caretaker mysteriously disappeared two decades ago. What seems the perfect adventure for these two quickly unravels, as closely-held secrets pull them apart, and the surrounding waters threaten uncertain danger. A psychological thriller set against the rugged landscape of coastal Alaska, Point of Direction is an exquisite literary debut.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hitchhiking alone on the ALCAN, the two-lane highway that connects the continental United States to Alaska through Canada, Anna Richards, an American in her 20s, is escaping from a catastrophic event in her past. She is traveling to Alaska in an attempt to heal and find relief from the horrific nightmares that haunt her. Anna is soon offered a ride by a young man in a beat-up truck who is also heading north and also struggling with serious personal trauma. This gripping debut novel tracks the unfolding of their unlikely romance in a small fishing village in Alaska and the painstaking psychological and emotional work each has to do in order to become whole again. Anna is an engaging and vibrantly drawn protagonist who's strong, independent, vulnerable, smart, and, when the chips are down (as they often are in this novel), brave. Weaver is also superb with the setting and atmospherics, bringing the cold, the wind, and the unpredictable and sometimes furious sea powerfully to life. VERDICT A powerfully engaging psychological novel perhaps most essentially about forgiveness; the happy ending here feels authentic and well earned. Recommended for fans of literary fiction.—Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT
Publishers Weekly
A remote lighthouse near Juneau, Ala., serves as a crucible through which two people come to terms with their past and begin to forge a future with each other, in Weaver’s sparkling debut. Anna Richard and Kyle McAllin meet when Kyle picks Anna up hitchhiking on the ALCAN Highway. They develop a relationship but share little information about themselves with each other, even after more than six months living together. When the couple decides to become caretakers for the Coast Guard–owned Hibler Rock Lighthouse and sign a nine-month lease, the lighthouse’s unforgiving environment, with its hard and constant work, becomes a sanctuary for one of them and a prison for the other. Weaver melds Anna’s past failures and Kyle’s issues with abandonment, as well as their present shared struggle, into a gripping narrative where they become like “two weak pieces tied together for strength.” An impressive debut that makes brilliant use of the harsh and beautiful Alaskan seascape. (May)
From the Publisher

An ABA Indies Introduce Pick!
An Indie Next selection

"The romance between a hitchhiker and the fisherman who picks her up becomes ever more complicated when they agree to become caretakers of a remote Alaskan lighthouse, in this strikingly vivid debut novel."—O, The Oprah Magazine

"An impressive debut that makes brilliant use of the harsh and beautiful Alaskan seascape."—Publishers Weekly

“Point of Direction is a smart, tough, gorgeous novel, written in prose so quietly luminous it seems cut straight out of the Alaska landscape it so brilliantly brings to life. This is a debut to be excited about."—Laird Hunt, author of Kind One, 2013 PEN / Faulkner Award Finalist

"Rachel Weaver's evocation of isolation in Alaska and in the landscape of the human mind are impressive and spot on. Point of Direction is a fine and compelling read."—Seth Kantner, author of the national bestseller, Ordinary Wolves

"A lighthouse on an island off the coast of Alaska. A couple together on that island, each alone with the losses that haunt them. Rachel Weaver's Point of Direction beautifully explores love, loss, and the mysteries of memory, all set in an Alaska that stuns the senses."—William Haywood Henderson, author of Augusta Locke

“Rarely do the interior landscapes of heart and mind reverberate with such power against the external world of glacier, water, and wind as they do in Point of Direction. Rachel Weaver's gripping story of two lovers plumbing the depths of their respective pasts, while struggling to survive in a lighthouse on a remote Alaskan island, wholly satisfies with breathtaking writing and raw emotional truth. ”—Gail D. Storey, author of I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award

“A riveting debut! This powerful and moving literary novel explores how wilderness that enchants us also haunts us, with the very demons we bring to it. Weaver deftly engrosses us in the unique culture of Alaska, and in the minds and hearts of a young couple fleeing their secret pasts. Point of Direction is a gripping and deeply satisfying story; I could not put it down."—Elizabeth Wrenn, author of Second Chance

Product Details

Ig Publishing
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Meet the Author

Rachel Weaver holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. Her work has been published in The Gettysburg Review, Blue Mesa Review, and the Ontario Review. She currently lives in Colorado.

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Point of Direction 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I picked this book based on the cover. It looked like some place I'd like to be. Plus, I dig lighthouses. I can't tell you how many books I put down before the first chapter is over and they're never picked up again. This one I read through lunch and dinner, and even read some parts out loud to my husband who was irritated that I wasn't paying attention to him. Now he's reading it. It's that good.  
KristyMcCaffrey More than 1 year ago
Anna and Kyle decide to live at an isolated lighthouse north of Juneau, Alaska and it soon takes a toll on both of them, but in different ways. They've kept secrets from one another--painful wounds each is trying to heal on their own. Ms. Weaver's book perfectly captures the folly of youth and the ignorance that propels individuals into situations they're unprepared for. But it's in this messiness that the inward journey unfolds. You'll keep turning the pages to see how it all turns out. To give more of the plot would spoil it. And I couldn't keep the tears away at the end.
MERT99 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Author kept the reader interested throughout the book. Didn't leave it sitting long between reads. Originally chose it for my interest in lighthouses but it was a good and interesting book!
Livanlearn More than 1 year ago
Point Of Direction was an enjoyable story. There were parts of the book that seemed mysterious, to the point of making my heart pound in anticipation of what might happen next. I enjoyed this story and Rachel Weaver's writing. I do recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandine More than 1 year ago
Once in awhile a great story comes along that I just can't wait to finish and then I'm sorry that it is over. Point of Direction was one of these books and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a human interest story woven with historical facts about Alaska. It had romance, mystery, action, drama and great writing.It is one of those books I will keep for a long time and read again and again. Some of the scenes of the Alaskan wilderness were amazing and I loved the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book… you can imagine the beauty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First book for Rachael Weaver and she did a fabulous job.... Fantastic storyline, could not put the book down. Great read for all adults!!
Read-by-Glowlight More than 1 year ago
Rachel Weaver’s debut novel, Point of Direction, grabbed my attention right from the start and held it captive until the end. Protagonist Anna Richards’ emotional compass is spinning out of control after an unthinkable tragedy on an ice hiking trip upends her entire life. Seeking for a way to deal with it, she takes off, trekking solo on the ALCAN, a two-lane road through Canada toward Alaska. She is picked up by Kyle, an Alaskan commercial fisherman in a beat up blue truck, who takes her to the fictional town of Neely. Not long after, he reaches his own tipping point. The salmon aren’t running this year, and he’s got only $259 to show for his last trip out on the Pacific. Something’s got to give. He asks Anna to move with him to manage a lighthouse on the tiny remote island of Hiblar Rock, a six hour journey by boat from Juneau and three hours from Neely. No one has lived there in the past twenty years, and the last person who did mysteriously disappeared. Anna’s not so sure she wants to go. Weaver writes: “The water’s a thousand feet deep on either side, you know,” I say, leaning toward him, both elbows on the bar. Kyle’s eyes hold mine. I feel the momentum building in him, the first pull of a tidal wave, the first hint of motion already underway. “Come on, Anna, say you’ll do it.” The beer is cold in my hand, cold down the back of my throat. I hold his gaze, something gathering at the center of me. I think of water on all sides, of myself out there. Nowhere left to run. Once on the island alone, a new adventure begins. It takes extreme courage, determination, hard work, and brilliant planning just to survive. But more than that— much more—Anna and Kyle are on their own separate journeys to find direction in their lives. Both are keeping huge secrets from one another. These secrets hold them apart and bind them together, at the same time. I won’t spoil the surprises or plot twists. But I will say that Rachel Weaver’s unique voice is as much a pleasure to read as the story itself. For example: “It was like adding flour to cake batter, my life to his. A certain dissolving, thickening, inseparability.” Rachel Weaver holds a MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. She worked for the Forest Service in Alaska, studying songbirds, raptors, brown and black bears. Her firsthand knowledge of Alaska provides authentic and rich detail throughout the novel. If you’re looking for a compelling read, this one will not disappoint. One caveat for sensitive readers is the use of the occasional swear words in dialogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down