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The Source of All Things: A Memoirby Tracy Ross
Synopses & Reviews
Tracy Ross never knew her biological father, who died after a brain aneurysm when she was still an infant. So when her mother married Donnie, a gregarious new man with a love of hiking, fishing, and camping, four-year-old Tracy was ecstatic to have a father figure in her life. Donnie was everything Tracy dreamed a dad would be—protective, brave, and kind. But when his dependence on her companionship went too far, everything changed.
Tracys childhood transformed overnight once the abuse began, becoming a confusing blend of normal little-girl moments and the sickening, secret invasion of her safety. At sixteen, realizing that she must take control of her own future, Tracy left home and began the long, slow process of recovery. Over the next twenty years, the mountains and rivers of North America provided Tracy with strength, confidence, comfort, and inspiration. From trekking through the glaciers of Alaska to guiding teenagers through the deserts of Utah, Tracy pushed herself to the physical limit on her way to becoming whole again.
The Source of All Things is a stunning, unforgettable story about a wounded daughter, her stepfather, and a mistake that has taken thirty years and thousands of miles of raw wilderness to reconcile. Only Tracy can know if Donnie is forgivable. But one thing is for certain. In no other story of abuse does a survivor have so much strength, compassion, bravery, and spirit as Tracy displays in The Source of All Things.
Called “brave and heartbreaking” by Elle and “an extraordinary journey” by People, Tracy Ross’s riveting memoir about abuse, survival, and healing is now available in paperback.
Tracy Ross’s adult life has been defined by her determination to push herself to the physical limits of what a person can endure. In The Source of All Things, she struggles to reconcile her stepfather’s abuse with her desire to make her family whole again.
Tracy’s stepfather first molested her when she was eight years old. But he was also her family’s savior—the man who rescued her mother from deep depression and the protective figure who instilled in her the very passion for nature that saved her life. It wasn’t until she ran away from home at fourteen that her family was forced to confront the abuse that tore them apart.
The Source of All Things is a powerful, breathtakingly honest story about a mistake that has taken three decades and thousands of miles of raw wilderness to reconcile. Unfolding in the achingly gorgeous landscapes of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska, Tracy describes her search for a place in which to heal, the sacredness of the outdoors, and the ways in which nature, at its most wild and challenging, gave her the strength to overcome.
About the Author
Tracy Ross is an award-winning journalist and contributing editor at Backpacker Magazine, an ASME award–winning outdoor publication with 1.2 million readers. She has been published in the U.S., England, South Africa, and Australia. Her essay “The Source of All Things” has won the National Magazine Award in 2009 and has been selected for inclusion in The Best American Sports Writing and The Best American Magazine Writing. Her Skiing magazine story “Our Country Comes Skiing in Peace” received a notable mention in Best American Travel Writing, and her work has also appeared in Outside and Women’s Sports Illustrated. Ross’s assignments have taken her to the wilds of Alaska, the ski slopes of Iran, and the most remote reaches of Ecuador. She writes about exotic places and intriguing people, but mainly about the wilderness and how it intersects with the most important issues in our lives. She lives with her family at 8,000 feet in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado.
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