Girl in the Woods

Girl in the Woods

by Aspen Matis


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Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis’s exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada—a coming-of-age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation. On her second night of college, Aspen was raped by a fellow student. Overprotected by her parents who discouraged her from speaking of the attack, Aspen was confused and ashamed. Dealing with a problem that has sadly become all too common on college campuses around the country, she stumbled through her first semester—a challenging time made even harder by the coldness of her college’s “conflict mediation” process. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: She would seek healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada.

In this inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles her journey, a five-month trek that was ambitious, dangerous, and transformative. A nineteen-year-old girl alone and lost, she conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Exhausted after each thirty-mile day, at times on the verge of starvation, Aspen was forced to confront her numbness, coming to terms with the sexual assault and her parents’ disappointing reaction. On the trail she found her strength, and after a thousand miles of solitude, she found a man who helped her learn to love and trust again—and heal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062291073
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/14/2016
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 294,716
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Aspen Matis is a writer living in Greenwich Village, where she's finishing her degree at The New School and working on a novel.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I Terrible Seeds

Chapter 1 The Garden City 7

Chapter 2 Terrible Seeds 16

Chapter 3 Blood on the Tracks 31

Chapter 4 The Things I Carried 43

Chapter 5 The Dangers of the Desert 60

Chapter 6 Unbound Ghosts 69

Chapter 7 Mirages 91

Chapter 8 Hollow Words 105

Chapter 9 Wild Dreams 122

Chapter 10 Trail Magic 141

Part II The Range of Light

Chapter 11 Love in the Woods 159

Chapter 12 Distance to Paradise 173

Chapter 13 No Harm Will Befall You 187

Chapter 14 The Range of Light 207

Part III The Way Through

Chapter 15 A Thousand Miles of Solitude 227

Chapter 16 The Director of My Life 261

Chapter 17 Inside Fire 278

Chapter 18 Love Notes Under Rocks 302

Chapter 19 A Hiker's Guide to Healing 322

Chapter 20 A Girl in the Woods 349

Epilogue 358

International Resources 364

Acknowledgments 365

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Girl in the Woods: A Memoir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has a nice writing style. However, I found the person she portrayed herself to be very difficult to like or take seriously. She wanted sympathy and others to be outraged over her rape, which is valid, but some of her actions were so contradictory that it tainted the overall message. She talks about the rape and as a reader you do want her to be comforted. Next chapter she is flaunting her body by skinnydipping with strange men and becoming offended when someone calls her out on it. Also,sending innuendo texts to a fellow hiker she is attracted to and answering the motel room in nothing but a towel when he arrives seemed an odd choice for a rape survivor. I expected someone as traumatized as she wants us to believe she is to have been a little more mature when it came to the situations she placed herself in along the trail.