Let me save you the confusion by coming right out and saying there is no character in this book named Tisha. The name comes from the native Alaskans who pronounced “teacher” as “tisha.” Knowing that may help some people (like me) sink into the story instead of wondering who Tisha is and when she’ll make her debut.
Anne Hobbs is a young teacher of just 19 looking for an adventure. She has no real idea what she’s gotten into when she applies for and receives a teaching position in the Alaskan bush. Though nature and the environment will test her strength, it’s the prejudices of the people who will ultimately make or break her. Anne can’t understand the disdain the townsfolk have for the native Indians and Eskimos, and she soon finds herself constantly at odds with the whole town simply because she is willing to extend kindness and humanity to the Indians. With all the odds stacked against her, Anne has to see just how deep her convictions run, and whether they are strong enough to save her.
Tisha is a memoir, written by Robert Specht and based on Anne Hobbs’ own telling of her life’s story. Specht’s note in the beginning mentions a few creative liberties he took with the story, though no real explanation as to why he thought it was necessary (nor many particulars of where he embellished). However, the story moves at an exciting pace and pulls the adventurous spirit right in from the very first moment.
It’s got a little bit of everything, from adventure and conflict, drama, and romance. It’s a snapshot into life as it was, reminiscent of Christy by Catherine Marshall or even Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. It’s a compelling story of a strong woman who is willing to do whatever it takes, to stand for what is right even when it literally means standing alone.
For the adventurers, history buffs, biography lovers, or those who love a good drama, Tisha is well worth the couple days it might take to read.