Girl in the Woods: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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You are allowed to give yourself permission. For Debby Parker, that meant leaving Colorado College after the institution shamed her and saved her rapist. Rather than retreat to her hometown in Massachusetts, Parker hiked the Pacific Crest Trail—all 2,650 miles, from Mexico to Canada—and became Aspen Matis. With her memoir GIRL IN THE WOODS, Matis illustrates these mantras: trust yourself and only rapists cause rape.


— From #BrazosBest Picks for September


Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis's exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada--a coming of age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation. On her second night of college, Aspen was raped by a fellow student. Overprotected by her parents who discouraged her from telling of the attack, Aspen was confused and ashamed. Dealing with a problem that has sadly become all too common on college campuses around the country, she stumbled through her first semester--a challenging time made even harder by the coldness of her college's "conflict mediation" process. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: She would seek healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada.

In this inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles her journey, a five-month trek that was ambitious, dangerous, and transformative. A nineteen-year-old girl alone and lost, she conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Exhausted after each thirty-mile day, at times on the verge of starvation, Aspen was forced to confront her numbness, coming to terms with the sexual assault and her parents' disappointing reaction. On the trail and on her own, she found that survival is predicated on persistent self-reliance. She found her strength. After a thousand miles of solitude, she found a man who helped her learn to love and trust again--and heal.

Told with elegance and suspense, Girl in the Woods is a beautifully rendered story of eroding emotional and physical boundaries to reveal the truths that lie beyond the edges of the map.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062291066
ISBN-10: 0062291068
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: September 8th, 2015
Pages: 384
Language: English