Les Becquets's debut is both elegantly written and plotted, but at its core, the novel is an intelligent and unusual character study of two very strong, very different women. Amy Raye and Pru will stay with you long after you finish this evocative, lyrical work. Recommended By Jill O., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In captivating prose, Diane Les Becquets tells the story of one woman
missing in the Colorado wilderness and another bent on discovering the
missing woman’s whereabouts, in an unforgettably moving and thrilling
It is the last weekend of the
season for Amy Raye Latour to get away. Driven to spend days alone in
the wilderness, Amy Raye, mother of two, is compelled by the quiet and
the rush of nature. But this time, her venture into a remote area
presents a different set of dangers than Amy Raye has planned for and
she finds herself on the verge of the precarious edge that she’s flirted
with her entire life.
When Amy Raye doesn’t return to camp,
ranger Pru Hathaway and her dog respond to the missing person’s call.
After an unexpected snowfall and few leads, the operation turns into a
search and recovery. Pru, though, is not resigned to that. The more she
learns about the woman for whom she is searching, and about Amy Raye’s
past, the more she suspects that Amy Raye might yet be alive. Pru’s own
search becomes an obsession for a woman whose life is just as mysterious
as the clues she has left behind.
As the novel follows Amy Raye and Pru in alternating threads, Breaking Wild assumes
the white-knuckled pace of a thriller laying bare Amy Raye’s ultimate
reckoning with the secrets of her life, and Pru’s dogged pursuit of the
woman who, against all odds, she believes she can find.
After three young adult novels Becquets scores big with this very adult thriller about two women facing life and death challenges in western Colorado’s rugged wilderness. During a November elk hunting trip Amy Raye Latour disappears while hunting early one morning. Married with children Amy Raye is an experienced outdoorswoman and a skilled bow hunter so it’s a surprise when she simply vanishes. Pru Hathaway is a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management a capable self reliant law enforcement officer raising a teenage son as a single mom. Pru and her search and rescue dog Kona join the county sheriff in the desperate search as winter weather closes in. The search reveals few clues but Pru and the sheriff both fear the worst—that Amy Raye is dead by accident suicide animal attack or something else. After four days the search is called off but Pru isn’t convinced Amy Raye is dead and continues to search. In alternating chapters the lives of the two women are exposed. Amy Raye hides a disturbing secret from her husband which makes the sheriff look at a motive for possible murder. And Pru’s determination to find Amy Raye reveals her strong character. This is a powerful story of survival wilderness field craft and fractured relationships packed into a suspenseful plot with more than a few surprises. Agent: Michelle Brower Folio Literary. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
“Les Becquets’ prose is as spare, haunting, and nuanced as the wild
landscape she brings to life…A transcendent, breathless exploration of
the darkest depths of loneness and the unbreakable human spirit.” Kirkus Reviews
“A taut and thrilling narrative…Skillfully blending the emotional
terrain of women’s fiction with a briskly paced adventure story, Les
Becquets packs her narrative with fascinating details about hunting, the
logistics of search-and-rescue, and the beauty and danger of the
“The sheer force of this book lies in the force of its two main
characters. These are complicated women who carry long stories with
them, but they’re defined, in the end, not by their histories, their
loves, their mistakes or their suffering, but by their actions — by the
pure determination with which they push themselves to extremes, in the
most physical and concrete sense, when it’s a stark question of life or
death.” Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Place
About the Author
Diane Les Becquets is a Professor of English and a faculty
member at Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA Program in Fiction
and Nonfiction. In addition to teaching creative writing, she has worked
as a medical journalist; an archaeology assistant; a marketing
consultant; a sand and gravel dispatcher; a copywriter; and a lifeguard,
and is also an avid outdoorswoman. A native of Nashville, she spent
almost fourteen years living in a small Colorado ranching town before
moving to New Hampshire.