Select one of the keywords
Wild River Blues    by Sarah Menkedick order for
Wild River Blues
by Sarah Menkedick
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2017 (2017)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Sarah Menkedick's Wild River Blues describes fourteen days she spent with her younger musician brother Jack on a very low budget east-coast backpacking adventure. It's part travelogue, part philosophy as they explore what it means to be artists in today's world. They travel with Jack's copy of the Tao Te Ching and, journeying between national parks, listen to thousands of hours of jazz.

The author tells us that they 'are on the cusp of transitioning from apprentices to full-time artists' and are clueless about how to go about it. They 'place tenuous faith in the old American tonics of road and wilderness' for redemption. They head, via back roads, to the East Coast mountains that spawned 'the civil, thoughtful rumination of Emerson and Thoreau.' And, though the author's intent is to document her brother's (the dude's) journey, she's changed by it as well.

I've always found that multi-day trekking clears the mind and heightens awareness of surroundings. Menkedick talks of her 'deep-rooted gratefulness at having narrowed my awareness down to this trail and its details.' I enjoyed sharing the siblings' arduous but rewarding treks through these pages, but also appreciated comments on creativity in art; the need to seek inspiration in addition to 'the dogged persistence and daily work'; and the importance of 'moment-to-moment awareness'.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Travel books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews