*I receive this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: South Away
Author: Meaghan Marie Hackinen
Publisher: NeWest Press
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
South Away is an adventure story of the author’s bicycle trip with her sister from Terrace, BC along the West coast to (almost) the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Meaghan Marie Hackinen experiences apprehension and determination as she camps in the dense forests of northern Vancouver Island and in frigid Mexican deserts; encounters strange men, suicidal highways and monster trucks; strong winds and violent storms; flat ties and broken spokes. Her couch-surfacing adventures provide an insight into the “kindness of strangers” en route. Accompanying the travel memoir is an inner journey, related through flashbacks and memories, as the author begins to better understand her relationship with her parents, grandmother, and sister. In attempting to balance risk with safety, she arrives at a minimalist philosophy of living, which requires “physical stamina and mental ingenuity.”
I LOVED this memoir! South Away is a travel narrative of two sisters who hit the road on their bikes and make their way from British Columbia, Canada, all the way down to Mexico. It is a harrowing and grueling tale of perseverance, self-understanding, learning, and uninhibited fun. Meaghan documents her experiences, first by herself through the stretches of highway across BC, and then with her sister as them move through the United States and into Mexico. Their journey is full of kind and wonderful people whom they meet along the way. Not everyone has an interest in helping them as Meaghan learns in a few dangerous situations along the way, but thankfully everything works out for the best.
This book is like watching a beautiful and scenic movie, and I found myself motivated simply by reading about the experiences of these two women. With little money, bikes, and the clothes on their back, they embark of this incredibly, if slightly under-planned, adventure. Their story speaks to a particular kind of person — one who craves discovery of the unknown and who seeks to connect with oneself and the world around them through first-hand experience. Reading this memoir was like a breath of fresh air and I look forward to revisiting it again in the future.
Stumped for something to read? NeWest has published this awesome Canadian memoir that’ll have you ready to pull out your own bike and set out into the world by the time your done. If only there wasn’t so much snow on the ground right now!