Sarah Ryburn's Reviews > Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis
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's review
Nov 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, non-fiction

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I'll begin with the disclosure that I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads program.

Review: A wonderful and adventuresome read. The narrator/author is also twice a thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail and actually holds the current record as the fastest female hiker of it. She hiked from Mount Katahdin, Maine, to Springer Mountain, Georgia, 2175 miles of trail, in just 57 days; and she logged an average of 38 miles per day on that thru-hike. Impressive.

The writing here is not what I would call lyric or terribly beautiful; actually, it puts me in mind of the kind of statements she makes about the lifestyle of thru-hiking itself and all it represents that she came to value. Simplicity and strength. Few thrills or distractions. Good solid prose, particularly in descriptive passages of the trail itself and her inner odyssey along the way. The narrative breaks down a bit around dialogue, particularly in her attempts toward the end to render the brief romantic sparks with Nightwalker, another thru-hiker she realizes, on her final night, she met at the first shelter her first night on the trail! True coincidence and a testimony to how much 2000+ miles (and in his case a lot of facial hair) can change two people.

Overall, a worthwhile read. Challenging, too, to my sense of comfort and convenience. I like to think of myself as a tough girl and as someone who likes a physical challenge. I've also thought a lot about both the AT and the PCT. Yes, I've thought about them... hmm...

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Reading Progress

November 10, 2010 – Shelved
November 16, 2010 – Shelved as: first-reads
November 20, 2010 –
page 125
Started Reading
November 29, 2010 – Finished Reading
May 3, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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