This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.
The Middle of Somewhere
Liz Kroft is struggling under a boulder of emotional baggage. Lying to her boyfriend about her past has taken it’s toll on her and she craves the solitude that the hike along John Muir Trail promises.
Of course, her boyfriend, Dante, puts a crimp in her plans when he decides to tag along- even though being outdoors is so not his thing.
At first Liz feels stifled by Dante- she wanted this time alone to sort out things she needed, yet dreaded telling him. But when 2 brothers show up on the trail- she’s kind of glad to have a male presence around- because the brothers are shady acting.
The experience becomes a team-building type experience for Dante and Liz. Can they survive the trail ( and their future) , even when the problems between them grow bigger than the mountains? Or will Liz be granted the solitude she desired on this trip- permanently?
Traveling With T’s Thoughts:
I NEVER, EVER want to go on a hike of this magnitude. EVER. That being said, I admire Liz for wanting to do this, for needing to do this. But, no. Like NO. Especially after things get hinky on the trail.
So, THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE is not this feel-good book. Liz is dealing with some serious hardships- emotional baggage that is quite large. And Dante, bless him, just wants to love her- but Liz just does not understand pure love. It’s not the kind of life she grew up in, it’s not how she was built. The 2 are almost an unlikely pair- and yet, there is something kind of magical about them.
THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE deals with some heavy-ish issues- love vs unconditional love, facing your past, and family dynamics. It’s told all through the eyes of Liz- as she copes with turning 30, what love means to her and how her life will be forever shaped by the choices she’s made and what she decides on the hike on the John Muir Trail.
It’s being compared to WILD- which I freely admit that I have not read (nor actually desire to read- and I’ll blame that on the whole EAT PRAY LOVE movie- I don’t always do well with soul searching memoirs). Liz is definitely in the soul searching mood and I can’t say that we completely connected- but I didn’t feel an utter disconnect from her either.
Dante, though…. Listen. I hate making plans only to have someone come along and decide to tag along or intervene. Blame it on my childhood when I would go along with trips with my cousins and we’d set out to go to this one thing- but darn it, we’d go to a million other stops before we got to the one thing. I like a plan. I like to stay to the plan. I fly by the seat of my pants rarely. And you don’t decide to go hike along a freaking mountain trail without breaking in your freaking shoes. You just don’t. So Dante was annoying me because he messed up Liz’s plan. I get WHY (it’s revealed later in the book) he went. I just think I can understand why Liz needed solitude.
So, I didn’t completely connect with Liz and Dante reminded me of stressful trips with my cousins- sounds like I didn’t like the book, right?
I can’t honestly say that I jumped up and down and screamed that I LOVED this book. It’s not a book that my high brow literary friends would call cerebral- and yet, it’s probably the closest thing to a “cerebral” book I’ve read this year. This book causes you to think- to question things, to not just read and be swept away. It makes you question who do you identify with more- Liz or Dante? What do the mountains represent? Do you have the strength and determination to survive a trip like this?
If you are looking for a book that is heavy-ish, that will give you much to think about- then this will be perfect for you. It’s got a very memoir-ish feel to me, as well, for non-fiction fans. I, personally, feel that book clubs will love to dissect the roles of Liz and Dante and the troubles they had on the mountain- a lively discussion could happen. Not in the mood for that type of book? Hold off till you are- this one can pack a punch!
*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.*
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T