“A soulful and searching book. Vibrant and elegant…McCarthy’s prose shines with intelligence and intimacy. One feels pulled along…the book gaining momentum and meaning page by page” (Cheryl Strayed, The New York Times Book Review).
With absorbing honesty and an irrepressible taste for adventure, award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy takes us on a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the world’s most evocative locales. Unable to commit to his fiancée of nearly four years—and with no clear understanding of what’s holding him back—McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. Though he ventures from the treacherous slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro to an Amazonian riverboat and the dense Costa Rican rain forests, McCarthy’s real journey is one of the spirit. Disarmingly likable, McCarthy isn’t afraid to bare his soul on the page, and what emerges is an intimate memoir of self-discovery and an unforgettable love song to the woman who would be his wife.
In this carefully modulated record of self-discovery, actor turned travel writer McCarthy finds in far-flung, solitary sojourns from Patagonia to Kilimanjaro a way finally to commit to marrying his longtime Irish girlfriend. Having stumbled into fame as a 19-year-old NYU student playing the "vulnerable and sensitive" male lead roles in films such as Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo's Fire, McCarthy falls into drinking as a way of wrestling with his emotional ambivalence and self-reservations. Travel allows him the freedom of anonymity, forcing him "to rely on instinct and intuition" rather than vanity, and now sober in middle age, he finds new motivation in pursuing stories for National Geographic Travel. Tidily divided into trips he pursued around the world, and framed around amorphous plans for his marriage with D in Dublin after a four-year-engagement and raising their five-year-old daughter, this rather bland memoir tries to confront the author's relentless need to shy and duck. Impressionistic moments such as venturing out onto the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, riding down the Amazon, mingling among other "escapees" in the gold-mining Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, and riding the clamor of a family outing in Vienna help release, if reluctantly bit by bit, his solitariness. Remote and diffident, McCarthy confronts very real male fears of being stifled and restrained.