5 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

Goodreads summary:  Erin is 19. She’s never really left England, but she has watched Bear Grylls and wonders why it’s always men who get to go on all the cool wilderness adventures. So Erin sets off on a voyage into the Alaskan wilderness, a one-woman challenge to the archetype of the rugged male explorer. As Erin’s journey takes her through the Arctic Circle, across the entire breadth of the American continent and finally to a lonely cabin in the wilds of Denali, she explores subjects as diverse as the moon landings, the Gaia hypothesis, loneliness, nuclear war, shamanism and the pill. Filled with a sense of wonder for the natural world and a fierce love for preserving it, The Word for Woman is Wilderness is a funny, frank and tender account of a young woman in uncharted territory.

I ADORED this book. I really connected with Andrews’ writing style and I liked that she switched things up a lot, going from film script to diary entries to prose, as each format gave a slightly different insight into Erin’s life. I loved the anecdotes about space travel too – I’m equal parts fascinated and terrified by space! I think I saw a lot of my 19-year-old self, and a bit of my present-day self too, in Erin, which is why I felt so invested in her and her journey. Her defiance of gendered stereotypes and active questioning of the relationship between women and nature both really resonated with me. There’s definitely a naivety to Erin which some may find irritating but personally, it really endeared me towards her. I sort of wanted to protect her although I know she’d probably hate that! I don’t often re-read books but this is one I will definitely pick up again. An immediate favourite.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Read for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt: a book by a local author.

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