Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: Breaking Wild

By Sara Steven

When you’ve reached your breaking point, and feel as though you can’t go on, what motivates you? What inspires you to never give up, even when you’re faced with the toughest challenges of your life? That’s what I asked myself countless times, while reading Breaking Wild.

It is the last weekend of the season for Amy Raye Latour to get away. Driven to spend days alone in the wilderness, Amy Raye, mother of two, is compelled by the quiet and the rush of nature. But this time, her venture into a remote area presents a different set of dangers than Amy Raye has planned for and she finds herself on the verge of the precarious edge that she’s flirted with her entire life.

When Amy Raye doesn’t return to camp, ranger Pru Hathaway and her dog respond to the missing person’s call. After an unexpected snowfall and few leads, the operation turns into a search and recovery. Pru, though, is not resigned to that. The more she learns about the woman for whom she is searching, and about Amy Raye’s past, the more she suspects that Amy Raye might yet be alive. Pru’s own search becomes an obsession for a woman whose life is just as mysterious as the clues she has left behind.

As the novel follows Amy Raye and Pru in alternating threads, Breaking Wild assumes the white-knuckled pace of a thriller laying bare Amy Raye’s ultimate reckoning with the secrets of her life, and Pru’s dogged pursuit of the woman who, against all odds, she believes she can find. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Amy Raye finds herself lost and alone in the wilderness, with only her wits and survival skills to guide her to safety. Only, there is no safety when you’re stuck in severe blizzard conditions, trying hard to find a way to protect yourself from the elements. I couldn’t get over the utter despair and pain she feels, trying desperately to hold onto the glimmer of hope she has in thinking someone may find her, will rescue her.

At the same time, Pru is doing everything she can to find the missing hunter, even when mostly everyone else has given up. With such rough terrain and terrible weather conditions, it’s not a safe environment for anyone, yet that doesn’t stop Pru from trying. At her side is her trusty companion, Kona, a rescue dog who is trained in search and rescue missions, yet even Kona is having a very difficult time in finding Amy Raye. There is so much snow, all tracks and traces have been covered, scents erased.

What I found most intriguing, was how both characters are dealing with survival. While Amy Raye is going through it on more of a literal plane, Pru is having to survive metaphorically, trying hard to move on from her past and embrace what may be in store for her, in the future. For Amy Raye, she also has a lot of personal baggage to sift through, leading her to the physical struggle she finds herself in.

Through all of it, there is the constant thread of hope that holds everyone together, even when it feels like there’s nothing left to hope for. It’s a true testament to the human spirit, how strong we can be, even in times of strife, and how we never give up, especially when we know what’s out there, when we know what we’re up against. I found both Amy Raye and Pru to be quite admirable, showcasing real grit and courage, both well-versed in the wilderness and how to survive in the great outdoors. It was nice to see such strong female characters. For me, this was a definite page turner, hands down!

Thanks to Berkley/NAL for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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1 comment:

Janine said...

Great review. It sounds like a good book.