In her adult fiction debut, Les Becquets (Season of Ice, 2008, etc.) writes of a woman lost in the wild and the woman who tries to save her, alternating chapters between their two compelling voices.
When Amy Raye Latour leaves her weekend hunting companions to strike out on her own and bag an elk with nothing but her bow and arrows, she soon finds herself at the mercy of the elements and the animals of the Colorado wilderness. Ranger Pru Hathaway, along with her search-and-rescue dog, responds to reports of Amy Raye’s disappearance, and over the weeks that follow, she scours the land for evidence of what may have happened to the hunter. Both women are mesmerizing characters. Flawed, injured, fierce, and passionate, their love and respect for the world around them showcase one of the novel’s themes: that in the cruelest places, there lies the capacity for “that beautiful aching moment of how the world could be.” Both Pru and Amy Raye come from lives of great loss, and these sorrows and mistakes are explained as back story, but they both find healing in the expansive land of the West. Another obvious achievement of the novel is the writing; Les Becquets’ prose is as spare, haunting, and nuanced as the wild landscape she brings to life. The reimagining of a romantic West through the experiences of two strong women both challenges the dominant stereotype of “cowboy country” and simultaneously offers the comment that gender has no place when it comes to matters of survival. It is the human capacity for endurance that is celebrated here, the capacity for friendship, for love, for loyalty, and for living against the odds.
A transcendent, breathless exploration of the darkest depths of loneliness and the unbreakable human spirit.