Friday, December 28, 2018

Novel Does Engrossing, Compelling Justice to Its Fascinating Premise

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ten years ago, a troubled drifter took his 10-year-old son camping in the Boundary Waters—a vast, remote wilderness on the Canadian border—and was never heard from again.  A ravaged campsite seemed to indicate a fatal bear attack.  A decade later, everyone is shocked when one of the "victims" emerges from the wild.  Caught while robbing an outfitter store, 19-year-old Lucas Blackthorn becomes violent.  After his subsequent arrest, the uncommunicative young man is admitted to a mental hospital in Duluth.  Despite repeated attempts to find out what happened on their ill-fated camping trip, Lucas will say nothing about himself, his father, or anything else.

At the end of her rope, the psychologist in charge of the facility assigns Maya Stark, her former patient and a newly-licensed speech therapist, to try her luck with stony Lucas.  It's an impossible task, but Maya's determined to get through to her client, whose haunted past reflects Maya's own.  The more involved she becomes, however, the more she's willing to do for Lucas, a man she's not even sure she can trust.  As the risks she's taking become increasingly dangerous, Maya must decide just how far she's willing to go for the enigmatic patient whose demands could cost Maya everything she's worked so hard to gain.      

The premise of Leave No Trace, Mindy Mejia's newest, intrigued me from the moment I heard about it.  Happily, the novel does its premise justice in this tense, engrossing page turner.  The characters are sympathetic and interesting, as are the questions at the center of this novel—What is crazy?  Who are the real savages—those who retreat to the peace of the isolated wilderness or those who destroy it with pollution and noise?  With a compelling storyline, an appealing cast, and a fascinating setting, Leave No Trace kept me totally spellbound.  I loved it. 

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little of The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

5 comments:

  1. Ooh...this one does sound really good! Am adding it to my already too long 2019 reading list. :D

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  2. I think I need to add this one. DOn't know how I missed it!

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  3. I have this one on my Kindle, so I guess I should read it soon because your review makes it sound so good to me! Thanks for an informative post.

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  4. Glad to hear your reaction to this book. I thought I had it, but I may not. Bet I checked it out of the library and then returned it unread. I'll try to get it again.

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