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Publisher Description

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.

Biographies & Memoirs
September 8
William Morrow

Customer Reviews

Miick002 ,

Wild Child

Not exactly what I thought I was going to read. I did enjoy reading about the PCT and their were many things that had me thinking. Some understandable situations, circumstances, emotions, feelings and that's why memoirs are GREAT.

NancyVanLandingham ,


I enjoyed her trip ... Her walk ... Great courage to sleep alone on a PCT trail ... Expressly with no tent ... Brave!

Too much repeat of the same issues ... And sometimes too many words to define/detail the beauty of the trip. I got lost is trying to "see" what she was describing.

But her hike knocked my socks off!

27toritore. ,


Not my first PCT book I've read, but definitely the worst! What a normal person would write in 100 pages, the author somehow has managed to drag on for 300 painful pages. Her writing is garbage, soooo repetitive and naïve. I knew almost immediately she was a spoiled, ungrateful brat...yet it took her months of hiking to realize this. Very self centered. No mystery, no suspense. Me Me Me !