Calla Fletcher wasn't even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.
She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.
Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.
Wow. Where do I start? The Simple Wild is officially my favorite read of 2018 so far, and I think easily slips into the ranks of my favorites of all time. I just read the last sentences moments ago and I’m still kind of reeling. I feel an odd yearning and nostalgia for a place I’ve never been, people I’ve never met (and don’t exist!), and a way of life I’ve never experienced.
K.A. Tucker did an amazing job with this book. I think it’s easily my favorite that she’s ever written. The writing was impeccable. I have very vivid images of Alaska that feel almost like memories. She really did an amazing job. The story is wonderful, only made better by the incredible setting. In the Acknowledgments, she talks about how the setting sometimes becomes a character of it’s own, and I could not agree more. It’s like its own living, breathing thing.
But putting the beautiful setting aside, this story is incredible in its own right. Calla is a very interesting character that really grips you from the beginning, despite being a bit spoiled and sheltered. She’s materialistic and vain and throwing her into the wilds of Alaska was very entertaining as a reader. But what I loved most about her was watching her grow. She deals with life in a completely unfamiliar place, getting to know her father and finding her way to forgiveness, and then, of course, Jonah.
Jonah will forever have a spot as one of my top favorite book heroes. He’s a hero in a very subtle, unassuming way. He sneaks up on you. He’s infuriating in the beginning, but slowly, just as Calla does, you start to discover that there is more than meets the eye. He’s funny, loving, caring and would give the shirt off of his back to anyone who needed it.
In fact, I quite loved every character in this book. All of the supporting characters were so well-done. They weren’t just periphery characters that helped guide the story – they’re these deeply detailed individuals who are as much a part of the story as the main characters. I love when supporting characters are given this much depth, detail, and consideration. They’re vital to the overall story and I loved them.
I didn’t think I’d deal with quite so many emotions with this book. It’s odd experiencing heartbreak and joy simultaneously, but that’s what it is. I loved this book so much, and I’m already itching to read it again. I wasn’t ready to leave Alaska yet and I’m kind of dying to immerse myself in it again. I’ve already ordered a paperback for my bookshelf. Just looking at the cover of this book makes me teary-eyed. This book sneaks up on you very subtly, and by the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late. You’re in love. I absolutely recommend this book to everyone. Read it.
The Simple Wild is unmatched for 2018! This is Tucker’s best work to date.
These characters are some of the most well developed and consistent ones I’ve read in a long time. Calla, Jonah, Wren, even Susan and Simon. I loved them all. Between all of their character traits and beliefs you find the balance and compliment of themes of the story. Vanity & modesty, solitude & companionship, resentment & forgiveness, among so many others.
Can we talk about Alaska for a minute? We’ve all seen pictures or watched shows set in the Alaskan wilderness, but the experience that Tucker gives you with her imagery throughout this story is simply incredible. It was majestic, impressive, just this grand thing that is simple and beautiful but also a little bit dangerous. I wanted to reach out and grab a hold of it. Keep it locked inside a tabletop terrarium and marvel at it whenever I wanted. This book is true escapism.
And the love story! So, listen, if you’re looking for something hurried and over the top sexy, keep looking because that isn’t what you’ll find between Calla and Jonah. I wouldn’t call this an enemies to lovers story. Yeah, there’s a bit of haggling between them, and Calla sure does have a sharp tongue towards Jonah at first, but…I don’t know. It isn’t malicious, its more of a displacement of emotions given their situation. It works for them and the product of that emotional displacement is something so lovely and tender. I want more of Calla and Jonah. I wonder if a novella is in the works? Can we petition that?
I can’t wait for all of you to read this book. I recommend with 100% certainty that you will find it as fantastic as I have.