Continuing my fascination with trail memoirs, I recently read Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis, her story about a solo thru-hike of the Appalachian trail.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Becoming Odyssa is another great trail memoir that inspires me to get out and hike! Jennifer Pharr Davis does a good job of balancing the details of her daily life on the trail with the personal growth she experiences while hiking. Compared to the Barefoot Sisters books (which I also recommend), Becoming Odyssa feels grittier – it stays closer to the trail with less of a filter.
I’d suggest skipping the preface and forward until after reading the book so they can be enjoyed in better context – the author matures into their praise during the story, but some passages come across as extremely self-absorbed and even unkind, reflecting the youth of the author at the time of her journey. Like any journey, Odyssa’s thru hike had good days and bad, she presents them to us authentically while telling a great story about her life.