Sunday, March 28, 2021

Review: All That We Carried by Erin Bartels

Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a backcountry hiking trip when their parents were in a fatal car accident. Over the years, they grew apart, each coping with the loss in her own way. Olivia plunged herself into law school, work, and a materialist view of the world--what you see is what you get, and that's all you get. Melanie dropped out of college and developed an online life-coaching business around her cafeteria-style spirituality--a little of this, a little of that, whatever makes you happy.

Now, at Melanie's insistence (and against Olivia's better judgment), they are embarking on a hike in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In this remote wilderness they'll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.

Michigan Notable Book Award winner Erin Bartels draws from personal experience hiking backcountry trails with her sister to bring you a story about the complexities of grief, faith, and sisterhood.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 5th 2021
 by Revell
3.5/5 stars

Erin Bartel's previous, We Hope for Better Things was a favourite of mine in 2019. This, her latest released in January and was high up there on my anticipated books of 2021 - a hiking trip had me visualising it before I even began.

Two sisters, different as night and day. One bossy with a chip on her shoulder, the other quiet and reserved. The first few chapters had me feeling the tension in the air and as I got to know these women I could feel how grief affected each in totally different ways.  Olivia the lawyer goes by facts, who left town rather then deal with the aftermath of their parents death.  Where as Melanie was left behind to deal with what was left behind.  Needless to say things come to a head in this book as each is forced to make tough decisions.

I loved the visuals,  the hiking, the solitude and scenery has me itching to get outdoors again.  The emotional journey on both Olivia and Melanie were interspersed with memories that showed their prior relationship.  The ending was okay for me, I felt something was missing but can't quite put my finger on what.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

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