Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hike with your spouse? What about doing it for six months? Just contemplating the idea blows me away. Of course, it is currently not an option for me for a multitude of reasons, but it was fun to let my mind wander that direction, ponder what that might be like and get lost in someone else’s adventure. In this book, “I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail“, Gail Storey shares her experience as she sets out to hike the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Southern California to Canada with her husband. The ordeals, joys, obstacles and adventures of the pair on their journey are shared in blatant detail. The first chapter ends with a paragraph that sets the stage for the rest of the book. It reads:
“All I knew for sure was that I loved him. I’ve never been able to explain it, even to myself. I came into his presence and never left. He’s mountain-man buff, and at six feet two inches, just a head taller than I am, so our bodies fit perfectly. When he holds me, light-boned against his sculpted muscles, I know I’m being held. No matter how deeply I look into his gray-green eyes, I never touch bottom. Ah, my soul said when we first met, aaahhh.”
That sentiment holds fast through the many adventures this couple undertakes. Through blazing heat, blizzards, near-death experiences, emotional mood swings, difficult decisions and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, these two stick together. I was amazed at their story, cried when things got really hard and didn’t turn out as they had hoped, cheered when they met their goals and was thrilled at the end of their journey. For the most part, this book was wonderful. The characters, both main and secondary, were real, and full of life. The adventure took turns both expected and unexpected. I found it heartening how willing the author was to share both her inner triumphs and struggles as well as the struggles between the couple. Having briefly pondered the undertaking portrayed in this book, I did not considered the impact and undertaking such as this would have on an individual’s personal introspection and self-evaluation OR the interaction and relationship between husband and wife. There were a few small things I found personally disappointing. The author fails to censor herself and semi-frequently shares inappropriate language. There are always ways to express your frustration, fear and such without foul language. The book is not heavily laced with such language, but it is present. Second, the author shares intimate details about her sexual encounters, both before and within the marriage, as well as before and during the couple’s adventure. In my opinion, it was “too much information” and was not necessary to advance the storyline. Is this a book I would recommend to others? Absolutely. I think it would be appropriate for married couples to read together and discuss, for book clubs to dive into, and definitely for individuals considering taking on a challenge similar to this. If you love hiking or biking, this book is for you. If you have a major adventure on your bucket list, I would recommend reading this book all the way through and doing some self-reflection to determine if your heart’s desire is really a possibility. Happy reading! For more information or to purchase this book, you can visit Amazon.com, and Gail Storey’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
“I Promise Not to Suffer” Book
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