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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Getaway, Zoje Stage: A FIVE-STAR must-read

Zoje Stage is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I still recommend Wonderland to everyone, and this has been one of my most anticipated reads since I first saw the PM announcement. I was beyond excited to be approved and couldn't wait to dive in.

Following a traumatic incident, Imogen agrees to go on a hiking trip to the Grand Canyon with her sister, Beck, and childhood friend, Tilda. Three women who once shared a close bond, their lives have gone down separate paths. As the trail becomes trickier, tensions run high and they rely on their individual strengths, but nothing could've prepared them for the evil waiting around the bend.

I loved this book. So. Much.

As an avid fan of Alone and survivalist narratives, this had so many high notes. We get the tension from the environment: a physically challenging journey, the presumption, but never guarantee, of safety on the trail, the cut-off communication and separation from society. We get the fear of the unknown, the first slivers of doubt that develop when events diverge from what we expect. We also get the emotional tension between the women. No spoilers, of course, but the internal moments of struggle and reflection are as strong, if not stronger, than the physical barriers these women encounter. I couldn't get enough of Imogen's insightful commentary about the nature of their relationships, how time can put band-aids on bullet holes instead of mending traumas, and how moments of greatest clarity come when the stakes seem piled against us.

Stage's writing is at once beautiful and heartbreaking, destructive and reformative, and I think many readers will relate to the fantastic circumstances in which these characters find themselves.

At its heart, Getaway is a gripping study of strength and survival, but it is also a story of love, friendship, and finding a way to be okay when everything around you seems to be crumbling. I couldn't think of a better read to come out of the pandemic, and this is definitely going to be one that I re-read often.

Huge thanks to Mulholland and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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