“lush imagery … A quick, nature-soaked read.”
For starters – knowing that Sonja Yoerg (whom I am honored to call a friend) has hiked the same John Muir Trail as her character, Liz, I am ready to lace up my hiking boots and go along with her on her next trek (though I fear I may be too big a sissy!) That’s how vivid her descriptions are of this intimidatingly beautiful California trail.
In Yoerg’s sophomore novel, she blends together elements of suspense, emotion and the natural world with brushstrokes as smooth as the skies she brings to life in the novel. Nature as healer, nature as foe, nature as a metaphor for life – it’s all here in THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE, along with some fabulous double entendres.
Below is just one example of the lush imagery:
Switchbacks led her from one side of the mountain to the other and back again, winding through pines standing close, like soldiers amassed for battle. Finally, the trail straightened and the trees thinned. She emerged onto an open slope of low, smooth rock, punctuated by small clusters of trees. A few were snapped off at head height, perhaps by an avalanche. Others had been struck by lightning, charred trunks roughly broken, leaving black fingers pointing at the sky. At nearly ten thousand feet, exposure was a fact of life.
I personally believe in the restorative power of nature immersion and totally “get” why people attend to soul-searching hikes like the one described in this book and others (think WILD by Cheryl Strayed). It’s not a cliche; those brushes with nature can be real and affirming and awe inspiring.
Natural imagery aside, there are other elements: Liz’s own internal struggles, as well as the people she and Dante meet on the trail (not all of them ‘happy campers,’ if you will). They add so much more depth to these characters, in oh-so-many ways. And with that, I’ll say no more.
So … hikers, nature lovers and fans of character-based women’s fiction and psychological suspense: THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE is for you! A quick, nature-soaked read.
(A version of this article was published by Melissa Crytzer Fry at GoodReads on September 15, 2015. It is reposted here with the authors permission.)