UNBOUND by Steph Jagger


A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery
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On a skiing trip around the world, the author loses herself in order to find herself and unexpectedly finds love in the process.

Except for the skis and the mountains, the narrative arc of this memoir sounds very much like that of other books that have become popular accounts of transformative pilgrimages—see: Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed. The main difference is that there was no real crisis that impelled Jagger on her quest. “We wait until we’re broken…before we examine ourselves, before we look in the mirror,” writes the author. “No one ups and changes a close to perfect life.” So why did she quit her solid sales-and-marketing job, go into debt, and commit to skiing some 4 million vertical feet over the course of one year? “A small amount of boredom had crept into my life of late,” she writes. “I was content, happy with everything I had and everything I’d done, but it still wasn’t enough.” Though the scenery is spectacular—Japan, New Zealand, France—both the writer and readers discover that descriptions of skiing can also be boring, or at least repetitive, punctuated by the occasional tumble that leaves her on all fours and questioning why she was doing such a thing. Eventually, Jagger learned that sometimes a ski trip isn’t just a ski trip but, “in many ways, my very own rite of passage, one about knowing and owning every sacred ounce of myself.” Along the way, the author met many fellow seekers and even fell in love, but only after she’d also become involved with someone else. “I’m not gonna lie, things were really on fire for me in the titillation department,” she writes. Yet after committing to the man who had initially seemed remote and indifferent to her, she discovered a relationship that went even deeper than love, a relationship that proceeded through “our first official vagina worshipping” by her “own vagina whisperer.”

A middling memoir of self-discovery.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2017
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Harper Wave/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016


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