I get why people like this outdoorsy, self-inflicted adventure stuff. There’s something to be said for manufacturing a crisis (a crisis can be simpler than just living). Definitely more thrilling.

Page 51

In a nutshell


A  woman goes on a solo trip to a Best Western in the California high desert to get a break from the emptiness that plagues her and the sorrow she is experiencing in her life. Her father is in ICU and her husband’s illness is worsening. When one of the staff points her on a trail, she encounters a cactus with a gash in its side. The gash beckons her so she enters it and what follows is a mystical journey towards healing.

Book Club Notes


When I read the premise of the book, I thought it could be poignant and profound, but sadly it was neither. It pains me to have nothing nice to say about this book but I really did not enjoy it. It was weird but not in a good way, and I walked away feeling like I had gained nothing and wasted time. There wasn’t one character that I found likeable or complex enough to appreciate. To sum it up, it was just a journey of existential crisis which I found torturous to read. 

The only redeeming factors were the short chapters that allowed me to stop often, and that somehow it managed to pull me to the end. Was this because it was only 232 pages of larger font, or because I wanted to know how it ended? I can’t tell you, because I promptly erased it from my mind and I remember enough to not be tempted enough to flick it back open to jog my memory.

Read If


You enjoy reading about existential crises.

Nu logo mark_01


Storyline – 2/10
Writing – 6/10
Character Development – 5/10
Plot Twist – 0/10
Shareability – 0/10
2.0Overall Score

The Nitty Gritty


Published by: Bloomsbury, Distributed by Jonathon Ball 

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Psychological

ISBN: 978-1-5266-6520-1

Pages: 232

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A note on our book ratings

Storyline: How good is the storyline? Is it believable and complex or does it make you shake your head in its ridiculousness?

Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?

Character Development: Do the characters evolve and grow through the book and are they multi-dimensional?

Plot Twist: Were you able to predict the end, or did the author give you some surprises along the way to keep you on your toes?

Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?

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