It’s pretty easy to lose yourself in the Boundary Waters – a million acres of wilderness makes a pretty good hiding place – and it’s equally easy to lose yourself in Mindy Mejia’s gripping new novel, LEAVE NO TRACE. Ten years after disappearing into the Boundary Waters on a canoe trip with his father, Lucas Blackthorne has returned—without his father. After an attempted robbery and assault, Lucas Blackthorne finds himself at the Congdon Psychiatric Facility – violent and unresponsive. Maya Stark, a speech therapist at Congdon, has been assigned the task of getting him to talk. This is a big ask for someone who recently graduated and was a former patient at the facility … but Maya’s back story, slowly metered out over the course of the novel, makes it clear that she is perhaps the only person who can reach Lucas and find out what happened to his father, Josiah.
Josiah isn’t the only one who is lost. Maya’s mother abandoned her as a child, and she can’t stop blaming herself. Maya’s mother, a geologist who left behind the memory of a haunting suicide attempt and an agate necklace, seemed to disappear into the wilderness as well.
Using the evocative backdrop of the Boundary Waters wilderness, Mejia explores the myriad of ways we can become lost – physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She expertly weaves together the back stories of Maya and Lucas to an electrifying and ultimately satisfying conclusion. Mejia’s characters are real – flawed and messy, with complicated families and punk-dyed hair. They make choices that leave you clawing at the air, wishing you could pull them back from the cliff . . . and in the Boundary Waters, there are plenty of cliffs.
Leave No Trace will be available in early September. Run to the bookstore for this one!! While you’re waiting, pick up Mejia’s first thriller EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, a novel about ambition and obsession, a compelling drama that questions truth and boundaries, and the thousand missteps we take on the way to losing ourselves.
This is Lin Salisbury with Superior Reads. Listen for my interview with author Mindy Mejia on Superior Reads, November 22 at 7 pm on WTIP 90.7 Grand Marais, and on the web at http://www.wtip.org/superior-reads-0