Summary and book reviews of Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets

Breaking Wild

by Diane Les Becquets

Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets X
Breaking Wild by Diane Les Becquets
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2016, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2017, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright

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About this Book

Book Summary

In captivating prose, Diane Les Becquets tells the story of one woman missing in the Colorado wilderness and another bent on discovering the missing woman's whereabouts, in an unforgettably moving and thrilling literary debut.

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.

Amy Raye

It was snowing already, in early November, after days of hot, clear fall weather. The flakes landed on her tent like slow rain. She lay still, aware of every small, square inch around her, and in that stillness imagined changing her mind, sleeping almost warm for a few more hours, and after daybreak and coffee, packing up with the others and driving home.

Earlier that night, Kenny had asked her, "Do you still love him?" They'd been sitting by the fire. Aaron had already turned in.

She felt sorrow pass over her face when Kenny asked her this, and she knew Kenny had felt it, too, because he reached over to her chair, laid his hand on top of hers like something protective. He then moved his chair closer, lifted his arm, wrapped it around her shoulder, pulled her against him. It was an uncomfortable position, but she did not tell him that. He took his other arm, encircled her with it. He kissed the top of her head, pressed his face into her hair...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. The story is narrated by two female characters, Amy Raye and Pru. Discuss these two women. How do they compare and differ? Do you identify with one more than the other?
  2. More specifically, compare Amy Raye and Pru as mothers. In what ways do you think they succeed and fail as parents? Do they evolve in their roles as mothers throughout the novel?
  3. Why is Amy Raye so drawn to the wild horses? What do they represent for her?
  4. In a conversation with her husband, Amy Raye said, "Everyone wants love to be this great, life-altering experience, their feelings to be so special, so unique, so dramatic, so beyond anything anyone else has. Is that even possible?" What do you think? Does this type of love exist? Have you experienced it ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Beyond the fascinating and compelling characters, the urgency of the search, the well crafted pacing and the stunning but terrifying backdrop of the wilderness, this story has been meticulously researched. Throughout, I found myself fighting the urge to read fast to find out what happens while also wanting to slow down to absorb and appreciate the details of the search.   (Reviewed by Sharry Wright).

Full Review (984 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This is a powerful story of survival, wilderness field craft, and fractured relationships packed into a suspenseful plot with more than a few surprises.

Booklist

A taut and thrilling narrative…Skillfully blending the emotional terrain of women's fiction with a briskly paced adventure story, Les Becquets packs her narrative with fascinating details about hunting, the logistics of search-and-rescue, and the beauty and danger of the wilderness.

Kirkus

Les Becquets' prose is as spare, haunting, and nuanced as the wild landscape she brings to life…A transcendent, breathless exploration of the darkest depths of loneness and the unbreakable human spirit.

Author Blurb Bret Anthony Johnston, national bestselling author of Remember Me Like This
A thrilling, gorgeous debut, a novel that explores the human capacity to persevere despite the wounds of the past and the perils of the present.

Author Blurb Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Place
The sheer force of this book lies in the force of its two main characters. These are complicated women who carry long stories with them, but they're defined, in the end, not by their histories, their loves, their mistakes or their suffering, but by their actions - by the pure determination with which they push themselves to extremes, in the most physical and concrete sense, when it's a stark question of life or death.

Author Blurb Andre Dubus III, bestselling author of Dirty Love
Prose that is lean, spare, and frequently poetic ... The precise rendering of weather and landscape here alone is breathtaking, yet what sets this novel apart is how deeply its author dares to venture into the psyches of her two unforgettable protagonists.

Reader Reviews

CarolK

Breaking Wild - A Gripping Read
Breaking Wild is a perfect read for March’s celebration of Women’s History Month. This story of survival in the Colorado winter wilderness features two incredible female protagonists. Amy Raye, a bow hunter becomes lost on her solo quest to fill her ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Search and Rescue Dogs

If you've ever had a dog, you know that they are constantly using their noses to find things—crumbs on the floor, a buried bone, a chew toy kicked under the sofa, a piece of pizza under a bush in the park. Search And Rescue dogs are trained to use this natural ability to locate missing people and then to notify their handler when they've found them.

According to NASAR, the National Association For Search And Rescue, SAR dogs and their handlers work as volunteers under the direction of law enforcement and emergency service agencies to help locate children and elderly people lost in parks or in neighborhoods with lots of shrubbery; hikers and hunters lost in the wilderness; train and plane-wreck victims and those missing after ...

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