EXCERPT: Normally I liked winter – the four-foot drifts, the nostril freezing arctic blasts that drove all the tourists away, leaving the town to the hardy, the survivors who bundled up and shoveled oceans of snow before retreating to our mugs and fleece blankets to wait out the endless December nights. Winter in Duluth was antisocial paradise and for someone whose mother suffered from chronic depression, there was a disconcerting comfort in the isolation. A home I recognized, even if I hadn’t asked for it. Today, though, I wasn’t comforted by the cold blast of wind numbing my ankle. I didn’t find relief in the absence of people on the lake walk. Today I was scared for a man I’d never met.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.
Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life
But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.
MY THOUGHTS: I think that if I lived in Duluth over the winter, I too would be severely depressed. I need sunshine. Mejia’s writing is such that I felt every bite of those icy winds. I longed to wrap myself up in blankets and light the fire as I read.
I am, because of my background, an instant reader for anything set in a psychiatric facility, anything to do with mental illness, and because I have read and enjoyed Mejia’s work previously, I just had to read Leave No Trace.
I raced through the first half of the book, enjoying the setting (despite the cold, icy description!), the character development, the moral and ethical dilemmas Mejia has scripted. But then, for the next quarter of the book, I felt like we were treading water, and my interest waned. But not for long. By the three quarters mark I was once again immersed in the story, not knowing where it was going, what the outcome would be, but rooting for both Maya and Lucas despite their conflicting circumstances.
Kudos to Mindy Mejia for giving us a great read, so very different from every other book currently out there. I will definitely be a starter for her next book. 😍😍😍😍
THE AUTHOR: My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss.)
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Atria Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.
This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2389804428