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Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide: Jill Homer

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Good Reads Summary:
Jill Homer, a newspaper editor from Alaska, has an outlandish ambition: Racing a mountain bike 2,740 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide. But in the tradition of best-laid plans, Jill’s dream starts to unravel the minute she sets it in motion. An accident on the Iditarod Trail results in serious frostbite. She struggles with painful recovery and growing uncertainties. Then, just two days before their departure, her boyfriend ends their eight-year relationship, dismantling everything Jill thought she knew about life, love and her own identity.

“Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide” is an adventure driven relentlessly forward as foundations crumble. During her record-breaking ride in the 2009 Tour Divide, Jill battles a torrent of anger, self-doubt, fatigue, loneliness, pain, grief, bicycle failures, crashes and violent storms. Each night, she collapses under the crushing effort of this savage new way of life. And every morning, she picks up the pieces and strikes out to find what lies on the other side of the Divide: Astonishing beauty, unconditional kindness, and boundless strength.

The story was told simply, without unnecessary details. The reader will endure Jill's struggles with Ultrasport, the possibility of leaving her job as a newspaper editor and her home in Juneau.  Her boyfriend of eight years will break off the relationship.  The author gives the reader the straight-forward facts, revealing all and hiding nothing.  The reader will be impressed that the author is willing to share some tough choices and events in her life.  This comprises the first part of the story.  The second part is not less emotional.  Jill goes to her childhood home in Utah, trains, and builds up her abilities and emotional/mental fortitude to perform in the Tour Divide.  Even with bad events and tough choices, Jill is able to ready herself for the race.  The reader will enjoy living vicariously through Jill, experiencing the ups and downs and the incredible mental/physical endurance that Jill possesses.  This novel is terrific for young adults/adults.