When reading Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia, I felt like I was under the stars in frigid Minnesota! The unique setting of this book was almost a character in itself. The descriptions of the hermit life almost makes it seem normal to retreat from society. If I could have a comfortable cabin, fresh-caught fish for dinner, and an evening campfire, would I pull a Ralph Waldo? Possibly!
Mejia cleverly pits one opposite against another. The prison-like rules of an institution clash with the ultimate freedom of the wild. A faded, washed out soul tries to emulate a sparkling gemstone. Abandonment tears at a forever-linked heart. This beautifully written story made me breathless at times. I couldn’t stop reading!
The main character, Maya, is so instantly likable. It’s hard to imagine her as the “bad girl,” so the reader immediately wants to justify and forgive Maya’s missteps from the past. It’s not so easy, though, when other characters step out of line. I took issue with some crossed boundaries in the patient-doctor relationship. Those things do happen in real life, and it’s commonly mentioned in this book between multiple characters. However, those blurred lines made me uncomfortable, and I never really got over that.