Julia's Reviews > Tracks: One woman's journey across 1,700 miles of Australian Outback

Tracks by Robyn Davidson
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it was amazing
Recommended for: Teenage girls

"Tracks" is Robyn Davidson's account of her journey from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, to Broome in Western Australia, crossing the desert accompanied by camels and her dog. It was first published a few years after her journey in 1980, and re-published in 2013 to accompany the recently made feature film.

The autobiographical travel adventure book is inevitably inspiring, as the author's voice is as humorous and heartfelt, as it is neurotic, passionate and self-deprecating. There is an authenticity and vulnerability to her writing, sometimes poetic and lyrical, at other times brutally honest, which draws the reader in.

In addition to being a well-told story, Davidson's journey itself is incredible. It is long, arduous, full of mistakes and failures and beauty, and is thus deliciously readable.

One of the most affecting parts of the novel is near the end of her journey, as she comes across a beautiful oasis in the midst of the harsh environment. She reflects on what she has learnt over the course of her travel, "to be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks" (p220). Her euphoria is contagious, and then she is dealt a cruel, cruel blow, which knocks the reader back as much as it does Davidson.

I found this book to be incredibly engaging, honest, and exciting. I would recommend it for all women, particularly for young adults. It is a tale of independence and real-world learning that is inspiring.

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Reading Progress

January 4, 2013 – Started Reading
January 6, 2014 – Finished Reading
January 22, 2014 – Shelved

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