My first book review is going to focus on Mile 445: Hitched in Her Hiking Boots, a story about adventure, love, and embracing the unexpected. I promise not to give away any spoilers!
This book originally caught my eye because of the idea of the great outdoors and a woman trying to find herself, with a little love mixed in (I’m a hopeless romantic.) This is also a memoir by the author herself, so I was looking forward to a raw, honest account of the hike instead of a glamourized one.
Desiring a radical change, Claire embarks on a grand hiking journey on the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT). She details everything that she experiences as she starts out; telling others about her plans, meeting fellow hikers, getting to the entrance of the trail, etc. It is a very well-detailed portion of the book that makes the reader feel as if they are getting off the plane with her, meeting Big Spoon, and experiencing the same things that she is.
Throughout the book, Claire does a wonderful job of detailing the emotions she is feeling, as well as what she is seeing on the trail. A great balance is achieved between Claire’s deep emotional reflections as well as the beauty on the trail. The things that she sees on the trail mirror her emotions at times, which seems almost poetic.
I feel that about halfway through the story, the mood of the book changes. I have seen other reviews online dictating this shift as well. I promised no spoilers and I will oblige, but after an event in this book, Claire appears to be less positive and confident in herself. This could be a result of the trail taking it’s toll on her, but it is definitely apparent. Nevertheless, it serves to show the severe psychological impact the PCT and emotions such as love and disappointment can have on a person.
In conclusion, I feel that this was a very good read. It is a very honest account of a truly harrowing and challenging obstacle that Claire embarked upon. I always like to read things in which the reader carries away a message, and I think that there could be multiple messages taken away from this book. One could be “everyone’s greatest obstacle is within themselves” or “love comes to you when you least expect it.”
If you read this book, what are your thoughts? What message did you take away from it? If you haven’t read this, have I inspired you to give it a try?
Let me know in the comments below, and keep on reading!