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When Determination Is All You Have

In her book, Survive, Sapphire Geer pairs family drama with a wintery hellscape in the Yukon. What could go wrong?

The newest author from Courage Publishing is no longer interested in foods like oatmeal or the feeling of being cold. Those things were normal and fine until she survived a whole winter with her family in the Yukon, with little more than porridge and a wood stove in a one-room cabin. And yet, this barely cracks the ice in telling the story of that fateful winter in 1998.

The book opens with a family scene that could have happened at any time in the last 100 years. This is why it is hard to believe it happened so recently—and Sapphire was just 11 years old.

To set the mood for readers, the author created a Spotify playlist of the music that she listened to back then, which you can listen to here. Hits like "Heavy" by Collective Soul give a grungy 90's twist to this backwoods, doomsday, bible-thumping, death-defying plotline, a welcome change from the dusty, retro feel of earlier classic memoirs featuring off-grid, religious survivalists.

While Survive is not a long read, there is no shortage of cringe-worthy moments in this fast-paced adventure. More than once, you will find yourself cursing the elements and gripping the page with anxiety for Sapphire and her brother, Paul, who strikeout over and over again during their unrelenting quest to save their parents and younger brother. This story exemplifies the extremes the body can be pushed to and the determination involved in choosing to survive when everything is stacked against you.

The denouement of the book brings us into post-winter life changes for Sapphire. What is a lengthy explanation somehow does little to satisfy the hunger to know more about how Sapphire intends to live after such an ordeal. It almost gives the feeling that surviving was not merely a momentary goal but instead a lifelong pursuit. In spite of the challenges faced, Sapphire's story offers the reader feelings of hope and encouragement.

You can hear Sapphire speak about the book and her story at a number of upcoming events by visiting her author page. Her book will be released via Amazon on November 13, 2020, and it is available now for pre-sale orders by visiting Courage Publishing's presale page. The book retails at an affordable $13.99 plus shipping, rivaling such greats in its genre as The Glass Castle ($24) and Into the Wild ($15).


Survive available for pre-order in our shop & on Amazon. You can find more reviews like this one on Goodreads.

“What kind of cruel reality was I living in? Why did this life belong to me?

Eleven-year-old Sapphire immediately engages the reader with her earnest, God-questioning, no-nonsense account of the events of her life in the Yukon wild.

This is a first-person narrative of a young girl, faced with insurmountable odds, who has the strength to question parental decisions, personal motives and her relationship with God; even as she overcomes continuous challenges in her journey for survival.

-Excerpt from a review by Connie Whitely

You can find more reviews like this one on Goodreads.

Survive is available for pre-order at our shop & on Amazon.


About the writer:

Clementine Willowilde is an Artist and Marketing Director for Courage Publishing. She spends her time pursuing projects that encourage creativity and artistic skill, with an end goal of growing the Arts Community online. You can find more about her and her artwork at

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