The Maze: A Desert Journey by Lucy Rees, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Maze: A Desert Journey

Maze: A Desert Journey

by Lucy Rees
     
 

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"Northern Arizona is vast and beautiful. Horizons are huge, for the dry air is so clear you can often see for eighty or a hundred miles. Mountains we would think to walk over in a day may be three days' hard ride away. There is space between each tuft of grass or cactus."

With these words, Lucy Rees invites the reader to saddle up and travel with her across the

Overview

"Northern Arizona is vast and beautiful. Horizons are huge, for the dry air is so clear you can often see for eighty or a hundred miles. Mountains we would think to walk over in a day may be three days' hard ride away. There is space between each tuft of grass or cactus."

With these words, Lucy Rees invites the reader to saddle up and travel with her across the desert to the Hopi Indian mesas. There, she and a companion are searching for an ancient stone carving similar to one in Cornwall, near their native Wales, that has long fascinated them. The intricate design of the stone, spiraling inward and then turning outward again, becomes a purpose for their trek as well as a metaphor for the journey itself. Humorous and wise, this book is both a bold adventure on horseback and a moving account of personal tragedy, courage, and hope.

"Rees' intrepid wilderness journey becomes an enlightening spiritual quest. The Maze is a must for nature readers."--Anne LaBastille, author of Woodswoman

"Rees writes ravishingly of man's relationship with the natural world. . . . On one level, [it] is a travel book for horse lovers; but it is also, marvelously, a book about contemplation and the ability of some travellers to connect truly with the land."--The Times, London

Lucy Rees is the author of The Horse's Mind and other works, both fiction and nonfiction. When not traveling, she lives in Wales.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By American standards, the Welsh couple were ill-equipped for desert travel-wrong horses, no pack mules, no guns. Rees (Wild Pony) was seeking inner peace after a personal tragedy; her friend Rick wanted to see a stone carving on the Hopi reservation, reputedly identical to one in Cornwall known as the Cretan maze. In Prescott, Arizona, they bought two horses for a journey that would take them across desert, high plateau and half of Navajoland. Rees gives a spirited account of their adventures. One of the horses, Duchess, had been badly handled in the past and was unpredictable. Through Rees's affection, Duchess learned to trust humans again-a rewarding story in itself. Eventually, the travelers found the maze on the second mesa of the Hopi. This combination of travel with horses, a spiritual search and extraordinary adventure leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Rees, a horse trainer with a love of travel, offers a rambling account of her adventure in the wilds of the Old West.

She and her friend Rick, both Welsh, determine to come to America, buy two horses, and ride through Arizona in search of a particular stone carving of a maze that is found in both Cornwall and Hopi territory. The horses they buy, Rosie and Duchess, had been spoiled and then dumped by former owners, and were literally on the way to the glue factory before Rees found them. The narrative is at its strongest when it focuses on these animals: They gradually accept training, and the mutual trust that develops between rider and horse is fascinating and frequently quite moving. Their journey is much harder than expected, and as the relationship between beast and human is strengthened, that between Rick and the author loses its center. The story becomes unexpectedly painful when Rees recounts past loves now lost. She seems to find herself stuck in an emotional equivalent of the maze she and Rick seek. After an awkward few days, the two travel on to the Hopi reservation where they want to study more closely the stone carving that links their country to America. The reservation, unfortunately, exposes a slightly maudlin edge to Rees's writing, and the history and importance of the carving are lost in a torrent of platitudes à la Dances with Wolves. The end of the story is a muddled rush that stands in sharp contrast to her earlier clear prose style.

While it relies too heavily on a vague, New Age mysticism, this slender book is nonetheless an engaging and unique travelogue.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816518319
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
198
Product dimensions:
5.55(w) x 8.55(h) x 0.43(d)

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