Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book Review All That We Carried by Erin Bartels


All That We Carried: A Novel

Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a backcountry hiking trip when their parents were in a fatal car accident. Over the years, they grew apart, each coping with the loss in her own way. Olivia plunged herself into law school, work, and a materialist view of the world--what you see is what you get, and that's all you get. Melanie dropped out of college and developed an online life-coaching business around her cafeteria-style spirituality--a little of this, a little of that, whatever makes you happy.

Now, at Melanie's insistence (and against Olivia's better judgment), they are embarking on a hike in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In this remote wilderness they'll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.

Michigan Notable Book Award winner Erin Bartels draws from personal experience hiking backcountry trails with her sister to bring you a story about the complexities of grief, faith, and sisterhood.

My thoughts:

Two Sisters going on a hike in Michigan's Upper Peninsula may not seem like a big thing, but when the sisters  haven't really connected in 10 years with each other, it can be an explosion of hurt feelings and misconceptions.  They were carrying some heavy burdens.  As I was reading, All That We Carried, I felt like I was right there in the mist of their struggles to get along, forgive each other, and possibly connect with each other again. The question to me that remained constant throughout was, could they find God while they were up there too?

I loved the description of the trails they walked and the beautiful waterfalls. The Lake Superior description was definetly a reminder of how beautiful and tranquil it can be but at the same time very dangerous, just like the trails the women are hiking.

This book had a twist in the end that was quite unexpected. Oh, there could be another book in there really, but I loved that all my questions were answered. 

A beautiful told story that will make you want to go hiking and camping in the backwoods of Michigan.

I was given this book by the publisher.

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