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Book Review: 'Breaking Wild' is a haunting, Western-esque story of survival
"Breaking Wild" by Diane Les Becquets. - photo by Ryan D. Curtis
"BREAKING WILD," by Diane Les Becquets, Berkley, $26, 309 pages (f)

In "Breaking Wild" by Diane Les Becquets, Amy Raye Latour is a mother and hunter who thrives in nature. Ever since her grandfather took her hunting as a young girl, she's been hooked.

While on a hunting trip in the Colorado wilderness, Amy Raye heads off by herself into the snowy November morning in search of an elk. In the course of her travels, she becomes hopelessly lost.

Pru Hathaway, an archeological law enforcement ranger for the Bureau of Land Management, is dispatched to locate her. With the help of her search-and-rescue dog, Kona, Pru scours the wilderness in search of Amy Raye.

But an unexpected snowstorm further complicates matters for Pru. Even though hope dims rather quickly and the operation transitions from search to recovery, Pru continues looking for Amy Raye, convinced she is still alive. As Pru determinedly charges through the snow-covered land in pursuit of an almost insurmountable task, her journey evokes a certain Western-esque spirit.

Meanwhile, Amy Raye has to contend with brutal conditions and fight to survive. While battling against the forces of nature, she is forced to come to terms with the traumatic events of her life as she fights to survive long enough to be found.

Ultimately, Amy Raye learns to appreciate the things most important in her life: her husband, her children and her beloved horse.

Les Becquets has succeeded in bringing a haunting story to life, chronicling the human will to survive against all odds. She has crafted two central characters that are very relatable to anyone who has experienced loss. Both women make for a captivating story. Their lives have been marred by suffering, but they learn to continue on.

Les Becquets is a professor of English and a faculty member at Southern New Hampshire University's MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction. This is her fourth book and debut adult fiction novel.

The book contains a detailed rape scene and ensuing violence, a detailed sexual encounter between a married couple and mild swearing scattered throughout.