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The Simple Wild: A Novel by K. A. Tucker

The Simple Wild: A Novel

by K. A. Tucker

Series: Wild (1)

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855222,975 (4.24)2
City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker. Calla Fletcher was 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 her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla 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 new subarctic environment, Jonah--the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps 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. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a 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.… (more)



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4.5 stars.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker is a captivating novel which is set in a remote Alaskan town. I was initially not sure if I'd like the novel because of the main character, but thankfully my first impression was wrong!

Twenty-six year old Calla Fletcher might have been born in Alaska, but since she left before age two, she is a city girl through and through. Following her parents' short marriage, her mom, Susan, returned to Toronto where she remarried psychiatrist Simon Barlow. Calla remained in touch with her bush pilot and charter plane company owner father, Wren, until she was fourteen. But when her father's friend, Agnes, calls to let her know Wren has cancer, Calla decides to return to Alaska to see if she can salvage their fractured relationship.

Since Calla goes into her trip without any research, she is ill-prepared for life in the Alaskan bush. Jonah, one of her father's pilots, picks her up at the airport and well, he does not do ANYTHING to make her comfortable. As a matter of fact, Calla is convinced he is going out of his way to make her as miserable as possible especially when he never cuts her any slack after they arrive in Bangor. And well, Calla deserves part of the blame since she does not make any effort to assimilate to bush life. She is spoiled and pampered and she is rather disdainful of the townspeople. I have to admit I really disliked her for about half the novel because of her terrible attitude and high maintenance lifestyle.

Jonah is gruff and impatient but there is a heart of gold underneath his bush man look. He is comfortable in his skin and while he considers Wren family, he does have regrets about his own unresolved relationship with his father. While he has plenty of empathy for her situation with Wren, he has zero patience for Calla's prissy lifestyle and well, he is unfailingly honest about his opinions.

Calla and Jonah continually clash but underlying their mutual animosity is a growing attraction. Their banter is funny and there is plenty of tension every time they are together. As Calla becomes more accustomed to life in the bush, she is less prickly and they actually begin to get along. But their truces are uneasy since it does not take much to put them at odds.

As Calla's departure date draws near, she is making progress with her relationship with Wren. However, she is conflicted about whether or not she should extend her stay. Jonah offers helpful advice and as they grow closer, she is unsure if she should invest her energy in a romance that has a definite shelf life. Her parents' doomed marriage is always at the back of her mind and plays a huge role in her decision making progress.

The Simple Wild is a very charming novel that is fast-paced and engaging. Calla is an irritating character in the beginning, but she grows and evolves throughout her stay. Jonah is bit annoying as well, but because I lived in Alaska, I understood why both he and Wren felt such an affinity for their life there. K.A. Tucker brings the setting vibrantly to life and she perfectly captures why so many people love living in Alaska. But she also does a fantastic job underscoring the harsh living conditions that a lot of people just cannot endure. I loved the pitch perfect ending and I thought all of the storylines were realistically wrapped up. All in all, a wonderful novel that I am SOOO glad I read! ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
A friend and I were talking about The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. I told her that though Alaska was wild and beautiful, that there were many courageous and kind people there, and that I hear tell you can see Russia from some folks porches, there was much in the book I found disturbing, as I had with Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The next week, she gave me this to “change my mind” about Alaska.
It’s a romance. Not gonna change my mind, except maybe about mental foreplay in the wilderness.
  bookczuk | Dec 4, 2019 |
5 stars

For some reason, I was on the verge of crying during the saddest part of the book but never shed a tear. And now that I've finished it and knowing that it ends on a good note, I can't help but cry. Maybe it's because of all the lost opportunities between Calla and her dad. Maybe it's because it still ended with them not having so many more regrets. Maybe it's because it's a beautiful story about resentment, forgiveness, but mostly love. There is so much love my head doesn't know what to do with it. Neither does my heart.

I love Simon's patience and acute comments, his many quiet ways of showing how much love he has to give even though he always seems to come second for others. I love Mabel's enthousiastic and energetic take on life. I love Agnes' calmness and ability to keep on thinking of the positive. I love Jonah's brutal honesty and loyalty towards his loved ones. I love Wren's easy way of living and fondness of others. And first and foremost I love how Calla's journey made it possible for her to discover a whole new side of herself along her discovery of Alaska.
And now I'm crying again, Goddammit.

I was not expecting it. Calla seemed shallow to me, at first, and I think I can totally relate to how Jonah's first thought of her. But then again this book was perfect to remind me that we are a product of our environment, be it family and friends, but also culture and way of living. We also are capable of change, of evolving in a new territory if need be, and display amounts of new (and old) abilities. And I'm actually realising it as I'm writing those words whereas my body already knew all about it when it started crying. Just guess I had to give my brain a little time to catch up with my heart.

I'm not even sure I can say I enjoyed this book all along, but for some reason I can't get it out of my mind that it has a spot among my favorites. Guess the heart wants what it wants, no matter how I can't exactly reason with it.

Give it a try if you've got the chance. You might end up doing the same great journey I did. ( )
  AnaelleG | Jul 28, 2019 |
The Simple Wild was simply wonderful. This is the story of a young woman who goes back to Alaska where she was born to see her father who has recently found out that he has lung cancer. She had not seen him in person in over 20 years and had not spoken to him in 12. They have a lot to catch up on and hurts that need healing. Calla also meets a young bush pilot who challenges her as she does him.

I loved the descriptions of Alaskan life and scenery as well as learning about the whole business of piloting in the great northwest. The characters are written very well and the whole story is very believable. It was hard to put the book down. I have been getting a lot more particular, especially with romance reads, and The Simple Wild earns a rare 5 stars from me. ( )
  sdbookhound | Jul 19, 2019 |
Another one for the favorites of 2018 and favorites all time piles! ( )
1 vote CarleneInspired | Jun 14, 2019 |
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