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When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  425 ratings  ·  103 reviews
When Geraldine "Gerry" Largay (AT trail name, Inchworm) first went missing on the Appalachian Trail in remote western Maine in 2013, the people of Maine were wrought with concern. When she was not found, the family, the wardens, and the Navy personnel who searched for her were devastated. The Maine Warden Service continued to follow leads for more than a year. They never c ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by Down East Books
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Valerity (Val)
Gerry Largay had a dream to hike the Appalachian Trail and at age sixty-six she was thrilled to finally be doing it. She’d started out hiking with her good friend Jane Lee, and Gerry’s husband George served as support crew. Part way through the journey Jane had a family emergency and had to return home. Gerry decided to hike on alone. She and George met and made friends with many hikers along the way, as George dropped her off and hiked in part way with her some mornings, and drove ahead to the ...more
Linda Strong
Geraldine Largay hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. That's where she disappeared. She was presumed dead after a year of searches produced no body, no clues to what happened. This case became the largest lost-person search in Maine history.

Two years after her disappearance , her bones and scattered possessions were found by chance. She was on the U.S. Navy’s SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) School land, about 2,100 feet from the Appalachian Trail.

This author was one of the hundr
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
When You Find My Body is the story of Geraldine (Gerry) Largay, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker who disappeared in 2013. I was very excited to see this book is coming out, as my husband and I are avid hikers and I distinctly remember hearing about her disappearance and wondering if we would ever find out what happened to her.

First of all: this book is being marketed as a thriller and or true crime. WHAT?!? It is neither of those, least of all true crime. There was no crime committed here! None!
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book that any hiker or person that enters the woods should read.
Without being boring or lecturing the reader it makes very clear that basic skills like being able to use a compass and know how to start a fire etc can prevent a terrible outcome. Just following the one rule to not move as soon as you notice that you are lost, if you don't have survival skills, will most likely lead to a better ending.

It tells the story of Gerry and George, a wonderful couple, that make her big
Dianna Weigel
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent account of the events leading up to the disappearance of Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay and the subsequent two-year search efforts by Maine officials, rescue teams, volunteers and the trail community to locate her. The author, Mr. Dauphinee, clearly presents the facts, provides insight from members of the search teams, other AT hikers and Geraldine’s friends. Dauphinee, an accomplished outdoorsman himself, walks the reader through what Geraldine’s last days may hav ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book in 2 days, I could not put it down. It tells the heartbreaking story of Geraldine Largay, who disappeared while hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Even though, I knew the outcome, I was riveted to the story. It is a biography, search and rescue story, and a story about accepting death with grace and dignity all rolled into one. The one image that both haunts and comforts me is of Geraldine alone on her ridge, in her tent, praying her rosary and writing love notes to her frien ...more
Sheri Joyce
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Being unfamiliar with the story of Gerry Largay and the Appalachian Trail but a true crime and mystery fan, I was excited to read this book. This story is a sad one and a cautionary tale to hikers everywhere. Not being a hiker myself, I learned some interesting tidbits and was surprised at some of the statistics quoted on how people prepare before undertaking a challenging trail.

The book is a quick read but I was mildly disappointed with the structure of the writing. I would have loved to have b
Apr 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
A family member, preferably her husband, should have written about the disappearance of Geraldine Largay. It is interesting to note that her family did not participate in this book. A good portion of the topics in this book was unnecessary. Just two examples: the numerous calls from psychics, what they said and how wrong they were, and pointing the blame for her disappearance at her husband: pointless and tacky. But let’s add insult to injury, Mrs. Largay’s getting lost and being lost boils down ...more
Jack Daley
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gripping story. It’s not only about a lost hiker: it’s also about an inspiring women, a fascinating navy base deep in the Maine woods, a complex search and rescue operation, and the culture of the AT. A must read for any outdoor enthusiast!
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the local AT thru hikers, AKA Blueberry, mentioned that she read this book in one day. It took me two days complete, the same as my wife who read it immediately after I did. The book is well phrased, and the author has the credentials to do a thorough job of bring the story forward.

I recommended to anyone, experienced hikers and outdoors folks as well as those who hold that that a long hike on Appalachian Trail is a piece of cake. In any given year approximately 30 people get lost while
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I have been interested in the Appalachian trail since I first heard about it in the late 90's, and have even backpacked some of it. This story saddens me as I can relate (as many hikers can) to the drive and determination that puts someone out there in the woods with few creature comfort. It reminds me that no matter how prepared one is, things can still go wrong. Hindsight is 20/20. If I ever decide to go backpacking again, I will take some of the lessons learned in this book with me. My heart ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars
When You Find My Body
The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail
By D. Dauphinee
This book covers the fascinating and completely tragic tale of “Inchworm” Gerry Largay’s trek across the Appalachian Trail and her death.
Being from the Midwest, I have heard of the AT but certainly did not know any intimate details regarding it. I enjoyed so much of this book.
I realized how unprepared so many people are for attempting a thru-hike. I was truly astonished at how hard a rescue
Su Philips
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This is one of my favorite books, not only this year, but period. It takes a lot for a book to make me emotional, this book touched me deeply. Gerry Largay went missing on the AT in July 2103. Her story is heart wrenching, but this book is NOT an exploitation of her misadventure; it is a tribute to her attitude toward life. Gerry will live on in this wonderful book. Her story has inspired my family to take a survival class and set out on the trail together. My son has been asking me to take him ...more
Mikki Phillips
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although an incredibly sad and tragic story, the main takeaway is about a wonderfully warm, smart, resilient woman who faced death with an incredible amount of dignity. And the devoted team of search and rescuers who looked for her tirelessly. The gift that Geraldine has given me is to teach me that I will never head into the woods, even for the shortest of hikes, without a compass ( that I know how to use) and some basic survival knowledge.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Engrossing telling of a Maine tragedy by a top notch researcher and experienced search-and-rescuer. Dauphinee's experiences are key to his ability to tell this story and to connect so deeply with the folks who lived it. As a Mainer and lover of the outdoors, I was keen to read this book and wasn't disappointed. I appreciated the complete respect for Gerry despite her tragic circumstances and the ultimate message to respect the wilderness and to be solidly prepared for anything when you enter it.
Heather Nicole
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Are you thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail- read this book. Do you wish hiking the AT was something you could do- read this book. Do you enjoy hearing about empowering women who hike the trail - read this book!
This book absolutely brought a few ACTUAL tears to my eyes. But in the same tears - how lucky Inchworm was able to do something she had always wanted - how many of us can say that!
Dan Forret
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book, this book goes into a lot of detail on background of the search as well as everything leading up to Geraldine going missing. As well, research was done on a lot of who was involved and how the players came together. I really enjoyed this and although tragic that Geraldine was not found in time to rescue her, at least her body was found to give the family some closure. I will probably read this again sometime down the road.
Marjorie Elwood
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hiking
A heartbreaking account of Gerry Largay's disappearance as she was hiking the AT. Where she eventually made her final camp was only 43 minutes, walking slowly, from the Appalachian Trail and the many, many people who were looking for her. But she had no idea where she was and no clue how to get back to the trail.

"The less reliance on technology in the woods, the better. Period. The more educated we can become about what to do if lost, the better." If you take anything from this book, let it be t
A short, fast read that I highly recommend for anyone hitting the trail for backpacking , dayhike, anything. Things can go wrong VERY quickly, and it's important to know what to do when it happens in order to ensure your survival and chance of rescue.
I remember this news story when it happened, and in reading the story in detail it became even more apparent to me how truly tragic, and preventable, the tragedy of Geraldine's death truly is. Geraldine was a determined, experienced hiker, and it ha
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very well written account of Gerry Largay who got lost and ultimately died on the Appalachian Trail while hiking her adventure. A truly sad story of a lovely woman who simply wasn't attuned to how quickly things can change in the wilderness and wasn't prepared for survival.
Stay calm. Stay put. Carry a compass. Establish a shelter. Start a fire and maintain fuel.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

A tale of love and tragedy that is enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

5 out of 5 stars.
Rebecca Knight
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a SAR volunteer/K9 handler, this book is heartbreaking and instructive. As a human, this book is heartbreaking and beautiful. Well-written, a lovely tribute to Gerry Largay
Cindy Stavropoulos
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished, “When You Find My Body”. Thank you for a very well written book! I did have to put it down often because of the enormous sadness I felt while reading. But each time, eager to pick it back up, I was enthralled. While it is sad, “Inchworm” lived a beautiful life and through your book, she has taught me to be persistent. Persistent about my love for hiking, backpacking, jogging, bicycling and all things outdoors. Persistent about noticing each pebble, each chirp from birds, each “l ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Title tells you exactly what the story is about. It is definitely worth reading even if you never have any inclination to do this kind of a hike. If you have this on your bucket list please make sure you learn how to use a compass before even attempting any hike of this kind. As for reading the book, it sucked me in immediately so I do highly recommend it...but with tissues near by.
Jeff Swystun
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hiking is my therapy. With some irony, I was born on the flat Canadian prairies. I now live in the Laurentians of Quebec. Every morning I wake to see Mont Tremblant from our home. It is a mountain I have hiked hundreds of times. And there have been countless other hikes in the region.

I use Flipboard to curate news. Two topics I follow are Hiking and Appalachian Trail. It is amazing that in the 21st Century, with all of its technologies, that so many people continue to get hurt, lost and die whil
Ruth Woodman York
As soon as I knew this book was coming out, I knew I'd be reading it. I remember when "Inchworm" went missing, and following the search reports, hoping and praying she would be found. I've hiked a lot myself, including the norther terminus of the AT, the Hunt Trail on Mt. Katahdin. So it felt like a member of my own family was missing in a way. This book was well researched, in the interviews with those who hiked with Gerry at various points on the trail. While I could have done without the hist ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a heartbreaking story. I’m intensely fascinated by people who tackle the AT, and over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten more and more interested in different people’s stories about their time on the AT, but this one is probably the saddest of all, though I’m trying not to be TOO sad over it since Gerry’s story deserves to be known as something more than what happened to her in death.

The author clearly cares a lot about multiple aspects of this book, most of all Gerry herself. His emotio
Apr 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the story of what happened to Gerry Largay who got lost while hiking The Appalachian Trail in Maine. It's a straightforward account of everything that happened from the time that she was last seen on the trail to when her remains were found. There is lots of information about what to do if you happen to get lost in the woods and much conjecture about the choices and behavior of Gerry once she realized that she was lost. It is clear that there are many heroes in this account, as so many p ...more
Amy Harrison
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re a hiker of any kind, invest in a tissue box.

This book is absolutely incredible. It’s inspiring with a hint of sorrow. Dying whilst attempting such an incredible feat...

I’ve read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I grew up on the east coast. My mom is .Com (the hiker mentioned in chapter 4). But this book? This one gets really real. Reads as if you’re on the trail, you’re immediately kindred with Inchworm. She did everything right, and yet...

Read with tissues. You’ll need them.
Alan Comeau
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
D. Dauphinee takes on a tragic story and handles it with sensitivity, insight, and an obvious respect for the story’s subject, Geraldine Largay. Dauphinee constructs a narrative that shares information on the history of the Appalachian Trail and it’s culture. He weaves Geraldine’s story into this fabric while also sharing insights into what it takes to hike the AT. He can do this so well because of his background, which includes search and rescue, being a mountaineering guide, and his Love for a ...more
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Goodreads Reviewe...: Four galleys left, anyone interested? 1 11 Feb 23, 2019 12:57PM  

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Dee is an American author of novels, biographies, and essays. His writing has gained a following with readers interested in the out-of-doors, history, travel, human interest, fly fishing, and the construction of essays. He has been a farmer, a photographer, a fishing & mountaineering guide, and an orthopaedic physician’s assistant. For seven years he was a semi-pro wide receiver in the Canadian F ...more

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