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.
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A breath of fresh air.
Set in the picturesque background of Alaska and seeing it through Calla’s eyes was certainly a fun experience. Also new and unfamiliar to the place, her sense of wonderment and puzzlement consumed me to the core and made me feel like I’m exploring it alongside with her. I love how the striking differences between the simple Alaska and fast-paced city life were described so well in the book. Alaska may be years behind in terms of advancement but the sense of contentment & community unquestionably makes up for it.
As Calla basks in the Alaskan weather, her relationship with her father is on the mend. I felt for Calla, the questions on her mind, the jealousy she felt when reminded that she doesn’t know a lot of things about her father (while others does) and all the moments that she missed – all the could haves and should haves. The awkwardness and how they slowly built back up their relationship was really the core of this story. They were given the chance to make up for the lost time and enjoy each other’s presence before the inevitable. Everything was just heartwarming when it comes to their father-daughter relationship.
Another thing that left a mark on me is the community around them and the warmth that it offered. Everyone was so welcoming, helpful and grateful for just about anything. They were the simplest and most content group of people that I’ve ever read about. I love them.
Of course, there is romance in this book with the enemies-to-lovers trope at its forefront. Jonah messing up with Calla, how sometimes he could go really hard on her to test her limits but ultimately have a soft spot for her. I love both of them and their differences in terms of living, personality and probably on everything else. You know they just fit together.
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker is a story that delves into family, first loves, priorities and realizing how precious all of the moments & all of the days we get to have on Earth.
Rating: 4.75 stars. This book is definitely way up there on my fave reads this year and would recommend to my fellow readers.