Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.
She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.
Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.
The Simple Wild is more than just a romance. It’s a story about second chances, forgiveness, understanding, growth, and change.
What I loved most about The Simple Wild was the contrast between city and country life. Calla is a city girl from Toronto. She’s used to a lush lifestyle, so when she arrives in the last frontier, Alaska, she’s out of her element and has to face hardships she didn’t know existed. Watching Calla grow into an entirely new person as she begins to view the world from a very different perspective is compelling.
From the first few pages until the last, I couldn’t turn them fast enough. I absolutely loved the opening chapters. The reader is given a clear picture of who Calla is, how she moves through life, and what she expects out of it. This, again, adds more contrast to the Before Calla and After Calla.
Tucker’s writing is vivid in its imagery. Readers will be able to clearly imagine Alaska and all its wilderness glory. Also, the few chapters set in Toronto are authentic (Tucker lives in Toronto) and give the reader a sense of the hustle and bustle that is Canada’s biggest city. I’m excited to read more of Tucker’s novels set in Toronto!
Calla and Jonah’s friendship to romance is a slow burn as each of them discover how to compromise. It’s not the focus of the novel, but it’s a beautiful addition to everything Calla is experiencing.
Overall, The Simple Wild is anything but simple as Calla discovers a new dimension of herself and what it means to forgive.
*** I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.