When Julia Scully was seven years old, her father committed suicide, and she and her sister were sent to an orphanage. Two years later, emotionally damaged by the isolation and brutality of the orphanage, the girls followed their mother to the near-wilderness of the gold-mining territory north of Nome, Alaska, where she had leased a roadhouse in the tiny settlement of Taylor. Julia had no idea what to expect when she arrived, but to her surprise, she found a healing power in the stark beauty of the vast tundra. Later, she reveled in the boisterous, chaotic boomtown atmosphere that prevailed when thousands of American troops descended on Nome at the outbreak of World War II.
Outside Passage is a lyrical and affecting memoir of those years, simultaneously an emotional account of a young girl's first steps into adulthood and a unique portrait of a vanished frontier life.