Review By Gabrielle

The Beautiful and the Wild is a thrilling story of a mother’s determination to survive.

Favourite Quote:

“If you look back at your life, you’ll see the moments when everything changed. It might be the instant when the technician’s voice shifted from breezy to matter-of-fact as she did your mammogram. Or maybe it was when your phone rang as you were driving and you looked down for just a second to see who was calling instead of keeping your eyes on the road. They’re the tiny shifts that send us careening onto another path or nudge us in a different direction.” 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

The dangers of Alaska aren’t limited to storms, starvation, and grizzly bears. Sometimes the most dangerous thing is the person you love.

It’s summer in Alaska and the light surrounding the shipping-container-turned-storage shed where Liv Russo is being held prisoner is fuzzy and gray. Around her is thick forest and jagged mountains. In front of her, across a clearing, is a low-slung cabin with a single window that spills a wash of yellow light onto bare ground. Illuminated in that light is the father of her child, a man she once loved. A man who is now her jailor. Liv vows to do anything to escape.  

Carrying her own secrets and a fierce need to protect her young son, Liv must navigate a new world where extreme weather, starvation, and dangerous wildlife are not the only threats she faces. With winter’s arrival imminent, she knows she must reckon with her past and the choices that brought her to the unforgiving Alaskan landscape if she is ever going to make it out alive.

Oh boy, did this book grab me right from the first page. I read the whole thing in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down! I don’t know about you, but I love that feeling of getting totally sucked into a book. Where the world disappears, and the story completely consumes you. This book delivers that delicious feeling.

Peggy does a great job of building the tension and mystery. At first, we don’t know what is happening, but slowly, through flashback chapters, we gain more insight into the events that led to this moment. The pace Peggy selected for the story is perfect. The book starts off fast-paced but then slows down a bit. I wasn’t expecting that, but it really helps build a sense of suspense and frustration that adds so much tension to the plot. While the slow down in pace means this isn’t the pulse-pounding thriller I was anticipating, there were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing and interested. I absolutely loved the ending.

Liv is a wonderfully constructed character. Complicated and imperfect, you can’t help but root for her. I loved how determined she was and how she gained such strength and confidence throughout the book. She really goes from being a victim to being the hero of her own life. 

The Alaskan setting is the perfect place for this story. I loved how it is both a blessing and a curse, how the wilderness provided resources like food and firewood but also much to be wary of opportunity and danger in equal measure. Almost a character on its own, Peggy does a great job of describing its rough beauty.

Overall, The Beautiful and the Wild is a great read to get sucked into. Read it during a snowstorm for maximum effect.

Thank you, Berkley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.