Tiny Haines, Alaska, ninety miles north of Juneau, is accessible mainly by water or airand only when the weather is good. There's no traffic light and no mail delivery; people can vanish without a trace; and funerals are community affairs. As both obituary writer and social columnist for the local newspaper, Heather Lende knows better than anyone the goings-on in this breathtakingly beautiful place. Her offbeat chronicle brings us inside her busy life: we meet her husband, Chip, who owns the local hardware store; their five children; and a colorful assortment of friends and offbeat neighbors, including aging hippies, salty fishermen, native Tlingit Indians, Mormon spelunkers . . . as well as the moose, eagles, sea lions, and bears with whom they share this wild and perilous land.