12th out of 56 books — 15 voters
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Going to the Sun
Seven years ago, Penny's boyfriend was savagely attacked by a bear, setting off a chain of tragic events. Now, fighting a debilitating illness and haunted by her past, she finds herself incapable of emotional or sexual intimacy. As a way to break down the defenses she has built up in her safe Chicago life, she sets out on a cross-country bike tour. On this trip she meets N ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Picador
(first published 1996)
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I read this book years ago when it first came out and absolutely loved it. The story has as many twists and turns as her cross-country bike ride to find herself and the ending will leave you breathless. I'm so happy to have rediscovered it here on Goodreads and am excited to read it again.
I'm not sure if I was influenced by others comments regarding a male author writing from a woman's perspective, or if I formed my own opinions about that aspect of the book. I guess it was kind of weird- there was one statement about abusive fathers that was especially horrible- but otherwise I may not have noticed anything if I hadn't known. It was constantly in the back of my mind and therefore somewhat of a distraction, though. Even the person on the cover of the book appears to be a man! I l ...more
So I picked this up because I know the author's brother and went to law school with his sister-in-law. I also liked his Positively 5th Street about the World Series of Poker. I didn't expect to like this novel about a late twenty something diabetic Phd candidate who can't finish her dissertation and decides to bike from Chicago to Alaska, but I did, a lot.
I aspire to write with as detailed observations as McManus's. The small things you wouldn't know unless you were diabetic, the size and location of both bodily and emotional aches, the overlooked things at the side of the road. The effect is that the first couple of chapters are absolutely harrowing, and the rest of the book seems to unfold effortlessly.
A young single diabetic woman rides her bike from Chicago to Alaska partially to try and conquer her diabetous but also to put closure on a horrible incident that happened years before in Alaska. The moral of the story I think you can all agree on is "Life is a challenge! Keep going!"
James "Jim" McManus is an American poker player, teacher and writer living in Kenilworth, Illinois.More about James McManus...