Femme D'Adventure: Travel Tales from Inner Montana to Outer Mongolia

Jessica Maxwell, Author, Maxwell, Author Seal Press (CA) $14 (252p) ISBN 978-1-878067-98-2
Funny, smart and occasionally hair-raising, this essay collection draws on 15 years of trekking into the wilder parts of the American Northwest and Europe, as well as on one pioneering fishing trip to the hidden salmon streams of Mongolia. Travel writer and naturalist Maxwell (I Don't Know Why I Swallowed the Fly) is driven by the need to rediscover the enchantment of nature, the glory to be found outside the man-made world. Bolstered by a faith in the power of intuition to save her from harm, she bravely faces her fears--of drowning, flying, wild animals, the unfathomable depths of the ocean when swimming with whales. But she also observes the quiet details that make her adventures more worthwhile than those of other ""gonzo"" travelers. A keen eye for color (one river is ""an odd shade, as if God had melted down sage and jade and several tree frogs""; clouds are ""persimmon edged in violet glossed with gold"") helps paint her settings in the mind, and hilarious sidelong comments on the human mating dance, inspired by closely observing other species, serves as a reminder that their worlds are not so different from ours. Despite a few too many references to mascara, presumably to reinforce her status as pioneering-girl-adventurer, Maxwell's wry and charming voice pulls off the hardest part of reporting back from the wild: making you feel as if you have gone with her and enjoyed her company en route. This book will delight city-bound dreamers, women with a secret wild streak and anyone who needs a vacation. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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