A heart-wrenching journey of a broken young woman, searching for something bigger than herself.
Told in the first person, this story does a good job of showing the ways that the disease affected Mel, in her thinking, how she viewed others and herself through its lens. Most of the book is her walking on her journey to Mt Rainer, passing the times with her thoughts and her memories. She meets a full cast of colorful characters, trail angels, who tend to her physical and mental needs. I loved each of their unique and compassionate hearts.
Mel has a complicated relationship with her faith, and her parents were portrayed as unlikable do-gooders with big visions that didn't include the family in front of them. Mel is drawn to Catholicism and she encourages herself with stories of the saints and their righteous pilgrimages, but she also seems open to other more new age things and self-help, self-love mantras. Theologically it is safe to say that I did not agree with the book.
Overall, this was a difficult book for many reasons. Her journey was long and it was hard to read her story painted through such a lens of cynicism and disease, but at the same time that is what was well done as it showed how the disease was harming her. At times the book was whimsical, with the many friends she made along the way that brought hope and color to her world. The end felt a little anti-climatic to me personally, neat and folded up like that, so there was that too. In the end this just wasn't a book for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.