THE MAZE by Lucy Rees


A Desert Journey
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 Rees, a horse trainer with a love of travel, offers a rambling account of her adventure in the wilds of the Old West. She and her friend Rick, both Welsh, determine to come to America, buy two horses, and ride through Arizona in search of a particular stone carving of a maze that is found in both Cornwall and Hopi territory. The horses they buy, Rosie and Duchess, had been spoiled and then dumped by former owners, and were literally on the way to the glue factory before Rees found them. The narrative is at its strongest when it focuses on these animals: They gradually accept training, and the mutual trust that develops between rider and horse is fascinating and frequently quite moving. Their journey is much harder than expected, and as the relationship between beast and human is strengthened, that between Rick and the author loses its center. The story becomes unexpectedly painful when Rees recounts past loves now lost. She seems to find herself stuck in an emotional equivalent of the maze she and Rick seek. After an awkward few days, the two travel on to the Hopi reservation where they want to study more closely the stone carving that links their country to America. The reservation, unfortunately, exposes a slightly maudlin edge to Rees's writing, and the history and importance of the carving are lost in a torrent of platitudes Ö la Dances with Wolves. The end of the story is a muddled rush that stands in sharp contrast to her earlier clear prose style. While it relies too heavily on a vague, New Age mysticism, this slender book is nonetheless an engaging and unique travelogue. (illustrations)

Pub Date: April 26th, 1996
ISBN: 0-88150-369-X
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Countryman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1996