Sunday, April 23, 2017

Staff Review: Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets

I plucked Breaking Wild off the library shelf by chance, while selecting books for a wilderness display. I love stories set in wild places and this one garnered some nice reviews. It's a story of search, survival, and rescue. The book is fast-paced and the plot delivers rapidly mounting suspense. Both main protagonists are women, strong women more than capable on their own in the wild. The novel's backdrop allows author Diane Les Becquets to paint luscious portraits of Colorado's hinterlands, an area she knows well and clearly loves.

The novel is told from two points of view, Amy Raye's and Pru's. Amy Raye is a troubled individual. Happily married, ostensibly, she cannot stop herself from seeking out encounters with strange men on the side, the consequence of an unfortunate childhood event. Her actions torment her and threaten her marriage. To clear her head, she heads off alone with a compound bow to redeem her elk tag. She gets hurt and then lost in a craggy wilderness of ice and snow, coyotes and mountain lions. A massive search effort ensues.

Pru is an agent of the Bureau of Land Management, and she and her dog, Kona, are part of the search-and-rescue team. Pru, whose own past includes plenty of heartache and loss, finds herself unusually compelled by Amy Raye's disappearance. Her diligence and persistence in tracking the woman are unflagging, even after the official search is called off.

We move back and forth between two points of view, one woman's search and the other's efforts at survival, with both women's histories fleshed out as the gripping story moves forward.

I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good, suspenseful read and particularly for readers entranced by nature, in this case the gorgeous but harsh, high desert landscapes of southwestern Colorado.

~Ann, Adult Services

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