The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Published August 7, 2018
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.
Just putting this out there. One of my favorite reads of 2019. This was such an emotional and great read for me, I don’t think anything can really live up to it this year.
This book is about Calla who is 26 and has lived in Toronto since she’s been a little girl. Her mother left Alaska with her when she was a toddler because she couldn’t handle the wild, like her father did, a man who’s blood and soul lived and breathed in the Alaska wild. From the time they left, Calla tried to keep in touch with her father, hoping one day he’d get on a plane to see her instead of piloting through the wild to see everyone else but her, and her mother. The final straw came when her graduation rolled around and although he promised, he didn’t show. And since then she refused to even pick up the phone when the Alaska area code would show up.
Calla’s mother had moved on, with Simon and he’s been such a great father figure to Calla, one day when she gets a phone call from a woman in Alaska telling her that her birth-father has cancer and is starting treatment soon, and how he’d like to see her. With Simon’s advice, Calla packs her bags and heads off to the Alaskan wild. Calla meets Jonah who flies her from Anchorage to Bangor to start this journey of truly meeting her father, but Jonah and Calla’s relationship doesn’t start off too great. The two of them begin as not the best of friends. But my goodness, there’s so much to Jonah, so many little nuggets of him that you just can’t help loving more and more. Same thing with everyone featured in Bangor.
Other than the romance portion of this book reeling me in, since it was more of a slow burn than anything which is something I totally love. I live for slow burn romance with that tension and just ugh! It’s so great. The relationship between Calla and Wren was something that like really got me. And I think it’s because I connected to it in a way. My dad always traveled as a kid, he spent like 4 years overseas when I was a kid working with this company in Indonesia, and then he lived in a different state for my whole high school and some of college years, mind you, he and my mother are not separated. He just took jobs that allowed him to take care of his family the best he could. But, I feel like I connected with Calla and Wren’s relationship because my dad was absent a bit in my formative years and now that I’m an adult, married with a kid, he and I connect more often. We have this growing bond and so it made it so easy for me to appreciate all aspects of this book.
It’s such a great read, really well written, and again, probably a 2019 favorite/top read.