Master your Minecraft

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    What I'm Giving | November 29, 2014

    Neil Patrick Harris: IMG Neil Patrick Harris: What I'm Giving

    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »


This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.

Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

This title in other editions

The Wilderness

The Wilderness Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Its Jakes birthday. He is sitting in a small plane, being flown over the landscape that has been the backdrop to his life - his childhood, his marriage, his work, his passions. Now he is in his mid-sixties, and he isnt quite the man he used to be. He has lost his wife, his son is in prison, and he is about to lose his past. Jake has Alzheimers.

As the disease takes hold of him, Jake struggles to hold on to his personal story, to his memories and identity, but they become increasingly elusive and unreliable. What happened to his daughter? Is she alive, or long dead? And why exactly is his son in prison? What went so wrong in his life? There was a cherry tree once, and a yellow dress, but what exactly do they mean? As Jake fights the inevitable dying of the light, the key events of his life keep changing as he tries to grasp them, and what until recently seemed solid fact is melting into surreal dreams or nightmarish imaginings. Is there anything hell be able to salvage from the wreckage? Beauty, perhaps, the memory of love, or nothing at all?

From the first sentence to the last, The Wilderness holds us in its grip. This is writing of extraordinary power and beauty.


"The Wilderness" bills itself as a novel about a man who's losing his mind to Alzheimer's, but it's far more — or less — than that. It's closer to Virginia Woolf's meditative novels than anything else I can think of.

Yes, the novel starts realistically enough. There's Jake Jameson, 65, on the brink of retirement, utterly disoriented, zooming around above the moors and peat bogs... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

Born in Kent, England, in 1975, SAMANTHA HARVEY has an M.A. in philosophy and an M.A., with distinction, from the Bath Spa Creative Writing course in 2005. In addition to writing, she has traveled extensively and taught in Japan and lived in Ireland and New Zealand. She recently co-founded an environmental charity and lives in Bath, England.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

teelgee, August 20, 2009 (view all comments by teelgee)
Wow. What an amazing book. The story of Jacob - Jake - who has Alzheimer's. This novel is written in a spiral -- circling around events of Jake's life as he remembers them, then circling back with additions or subtractions to the events; echoes, mirrors, parallels.... In the wrong hands this book could have been a mess, but Harvey writes it exquisitely, with great care and skill. Highly recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

A Novel
Nan A. Talese
Samantha Harvey
Alzheimer's disease
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.50x6.14x1.27 in. 1.22 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Wilderness
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 384 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385527637 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at