A troubled, young widow hikes from Yosemite Valley deep into the wilderness on the John Muir Trail to elude her shameful past in this emotionally gripping story from the author of House Broken.
With her thirtieth birthday looming, Liz Kroft is heading for the hills—literally. Her emotional baggage weighs her down more than her backpack, but a three-week trek promises the solitude she craves—at least until her boyfriend, Dante, decides to tag along. His broad moral streak makes the prospect of confessing her sins more difficult, but as much as she fears his judgment, she fears losing him more. Maybe.
They set off together alone under blue skies, but it’s not long before storms threaten and two strange brothers appear along the trail. Amid the jagged, towering peaks, Liz must decide whether to admit her mistakes and confront her fears, or face the trail, the brothers and her future alone. – Goodreads
If you loved Wild, don’t pick this up because the only thing it has in common with Wild is a tortured, masochistic hiker lady (though this lady was substantially more prepared than the one in Wild).
It took me the first 60% of the book to really get into it, which, judging by the reviews on Goodreads, makes me a minority. That’s ok. I can see why a lot of people would really enjoy this—however, I was not one of them, simply because I got a lot more than I bargained for.
The description was very misleading. Even the cover was misleading. For all intents and purposes, this book looked more careful than Wild, kind of along the lines of Happiness for Beginners (two books that actually talk about hiking more than their MC’s internal struggles).
Liz is an alright MC. She’s smart, an engineer, seems to have planned well for the trip. But damn is she a martyr. Her first husband died, she has made many, many mistakes—and continues to make them by witholding information and lying to Dante, her boyfriend. Overall, I felt that she was pretty selfish. She is constantly worried that she’ll never be able to love someone again.
The dialogue was awkward in the book—it didn’t read well out loud and felt forced. The description of the scenery was great, however. I feel that I have a very good concept of the John Muir trail now.
What I did not expect with this book was boatloads of self-reflection and flashbacks. Oh, or potential murder and potential rapists/psychopaths. That was kind of thrown in at 50% and is what kept me reading after I got over the initial wtf.
In all, it wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t for me. I rated it a 3/5 on Goodreads.
A special thank you to Netgalley for letting the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.