From the author of Canada Reads finalist The Bone Cage.
Includes research on the shy child, parent-child bonding, social media issues, and the benefits of outdoor activity and nature immersion.
Disillusioned with overly competitive organized sports and concerned about her lively daughter’s growing shyness, author Angie Abdou sets herself a challenge: to hike a peak a week over the summer holidays with Katie. They will bond in nature and discover the glories of outdoor activity. What could go wrong? Well, among other things, it turns out that Angie loves hiking but Katie doesn’t.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply felt, This One Wild Life explores parenting and marriage in a summer of unexpected outcomes and growth for both mother and daughter.
Angie Abdou is the author of five novels, including, most recently, In Case I Go, a finalist in the fiction category of the Banff Mountain Book Award, as well as named a best book of 2017 on lists by CBC Books and Rogers Writers’ Trust. The Bone Cage was a CBC Canada Reads finalist, defended by NHL star Georges Laraque, and was awarded the 2011–12 MacEwan Book of the Year shortly after. Her novel Between was named a Best of 2014 book by PRISM Magazine, 49th Shelf, and The Vancouver Sun. Angie is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University.
As the trail gets more exposed, Katie’s enthusiasm bubbles. She’s still silent, but the determination and excitement vibrate in the set of her shoulders, the intensity in her eyes. She keeps her strides long and strong, her pace vigorous.
“Do not fall,” I warn her. “If you fall, you will die. ” I look at the steep drop-off to our left and imagine her losing her footing, careening down the mountainside. Would she really die? Maybe not. Still. Falling here is not an option. “Keep your eyes on the trail. One careful step at a time. ”
Seeing her approach the peak, measured and calculated but also daring and bold, I recognize the limitations of these dualities we depend upon, the ease with which we fall into them, pretending they make sense of our lives and our people. We draw on simple binaries like good/bad, shy/brave, happy/sad in an impossible attempt to impose order on chaos, to beat the ever-shifting complexity of life into manageable containers. I do it with almost everything. Katie: shy versus brave. Our marriage: the dark years before versus the happy years now. My relationship with Gyllie: the wise elder friend versus the younger hopeless friend. Ollie and Katie: sound versus silence. I do take comfort in the tidiness of these sharp distinctions, all of us controlled and in our places, but that fixed clarity has little to do with our real lives, a series of stand-alone, unique moments.