Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2016
Catherine Ryan Hyde writes a beautifully-developed story about self-acceptance, overcoming personal fears and learning just how far we are really able to stretch beyond our emotional boundaries. The last thing small, slight, self-conscious 17-year-old Ethan wants to do is spend time in the mountainous wilderness with his narcissistic, extreme athlete father, Noah, whom Ethan despises for various reasons. For father and son, they are polar opposites. Noah runs ~20 miles per day, so it's no surprise to Ethan when he awakens one day to see his father has left their cabin. Ethan presumes he's out running, but when Noah fails to return, Ethan becomes worried.

The next morning, still no sign of Noah. Ethan walks to his nearest neighbor's house...Sam. Ethan's not sure what to do. A professional search is launched but is abandoned after two days because the park ranger finds evidence that Noah might have just abandoned his son. Ethan isn't surprised at this revelation but feels in his gut that his father is still in the wilderness.

Sam, neighbor Jone (the 70-year-old widow Sam has a crush on) and artist-surfer Marcus join Ethan in forming another search party. Weather conditions become poor, the group's will and physical and emotional endurance is tested quite a bit, and eventually one member of the search party abandons the search.

I'll stop here to save the best part of the book for you to discover for yourself. I'll just say that so many emotions coursed through my body...from sadness to happiness to fear to anger to relief to disbelief to sheer joy! This is one of those rare stories I know I'll read again. Don't let this treasure go undiscovered.
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