The Middle of Somewhere by Sonja Yoerg

Category:  action and adventureoutdoors and nature, women's fiction
Publisher:  New American Library (NAL)
Release Date:  September 1, 2015
My Rating:  4 Stars

Description

A troubled, young widow hikes from Yosemite Valley deep into the wilderness on the John Muir Trail to elude her shameful past in this emotionally gripping story from the author of House Broken.

With her thirtieth birthday looming, Liz Kroft is heading for the hills—literally. Her emotional baggage weighs her down more than her backpack, but a three-week trek promises the solitude she craves—at least until her boyfriend, Dante, decides to tag along. His broad moral streak makes the prospect of confessing her sins more difficult, but as much as she fears his judgment, she fears losing him more. Maybe.

They set off together alone under blue skies, but it’s not long before storms threaten and two strange brothers appear along the trail. Amid the jagged, towering peaks, Liz must decide whether to admit her mistakes and confront her fears, or face the trail, the brothers and her future alone.

Review

The Middle of Somewhereis a story filled with sin, evil, heartache, physical and emotional pain, and complicated relationships. These are balanced with forgiveness, healing, strength, and love.

Our two main characters Dante and Liz are in a relationship. Dante genuinely loves Liz and Liz loves him in return but she is holding back as she is haunted by her past. Liz sets out on a self-reflective journey that in essence Dante crashes. She has such a strong desire to be purged of the secrets and pain that bind and agonized her. She seeks absolution within the beauty, fierceness, and solitude of nature.

Dante is impressive as he sees people quite clearly. He is living by a moral code flavored by his families Catholic and Mexican heritage. He is not consistent though as he strongly defends the sanctity of marriage without equivocation in front of several who disagree with him, wealthy and famous people none the less, but he chose to live with Liz without being married.

The journey for Dante and Liz is filled with many pitfalls; both physical and emotional. This journey is not for the weak. Liz does learn that:

"Each morning of this journey, even after a terrible night, proposed a new beginning."

Dante and Liz are both determined and both are seeking the same ending; a relationship built upon love, truth, and respect. Will they make it?

The Middle of Somewhereis not a Christian book. As I read the story the author weaved the characters into my reality so clearly. They were so real that I wanted to share with Liz multiple times that she needed to seek a relationship with God as opposed to solitude in nature. Her desire for solitude was good but oh how much better any resolution would be with God at the head of it. I also wanted to pull Dante aside and share with him that religious tradition does not equal a faith in God. Morality is good but holds very little value without a relationship with the God who instills it. I truly longed for a witnessing opportunity; which speaks to a talented writer as the characters were real.

Warning: This story covers several topics which may be difficult for a reader such as abortion, traumatic death, and infidelity. They are not written graphically but they are components of the story.

I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher.


books by Sonja Yoerg

Sonja Yoerg

Sonja Yoerg

Sonja Yoerg grew up in Stowe, Vermont, where she financed her college education by waitressing at the Trapp Family Lodge. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and studied learning in blue jays, kangaroo rats and spotted hyenas, among other species. Her non-fiction book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox (Bloomsbury USA) was published in 2001.

While her two daughters were young, Sonja taught in their schools in California. Now that they are in college, she writes full-time. 

She currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband.