Treez McDuffy is a single woman without friends, family, or romantic attachments. She has recently retired from a forty-year, lifeless job. She is now faced with facing herself. The wounds from her childhood that never healed reopen, and Treez must confront the truth behind her inability to form any type of meaningful relationship. She is alone without any sense of purpose or belonging, and she is left to console herself with endless cigarettes, liter-boxes of Merlot, and micro-waved frozen dinners.
A transformation is ignited one morning when she hears the sound of Canada geese flying over her apartment on their way home, calling her to join them. The momentous sight of this huge flock of geese flying overhead stirs something inside Treez that has lain dormant for years – hope. But to change her life, she has to change everything.
She terminates the lease on the rent-controlled apartment she’s had for thirty years, cashes in her retirement savings, buys a new car, adopts a dog that is aptly named Guido from the local pound, and sets out to travel the Trans Canada Highway on a loosely planned journey to the Badlands of South Dakota. By the time self-doubt sets in, it is too late to turn back, so she embraces her reckless decision and continues on.
What starts off as a trip to the Badlands veers dramatically off-course as Treez encounters people and events that steer her in a whole new direction. She is challenged in ways she has never experienced before while she struggles with the lessons she receives from both natural and supernatural experiences along the road to the place she is supposed to be. Her journey becomes an odyssey of rebirth and self-discovery, and she discovers so much more than she ever knew she needed.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when i read this book. I’d read the blurb, so I knew what the book was about, but that was about it. What transpired is a very well written story of Treez’s journey of self discovery.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t have chosen this book. I tend to read books with characters I can instantly relate too, yet as treez is 30 years older than I am, I wouldn’t have thought I would, but having read it, I was surprised to find I did, more than I expected. Treez is flawed, intentionally so, and this is why I related to her. There’s nothing worse than reading about perfect characters that are unrealistic. Yet, she also irritated me. There were so many times that I wanted to shake her, especially during the scene where she goes to Annabelle’s home and refuses to talk to her.
I totally understood WHY Treez was the way she was. With no father and a mother who was too busy trying to find a man, but her stalkerish tendancies were uncomfortable to read about. This is a testament to Martin’s skill with words, as it takes a lot to bring that emotion out of me with a book. Sadness, empathy and laughter, yes, but irritation no.
All in all, the story of Treez’s journey of finding herself once more is a story that anyone who has ever felt lost in the world around them is definitely one they will relate too. There’s a bit of Treez in all of us.