The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker Review

The Simple Wild

Author: K.A. Tucker

Publisher: Atria Books

Format: eBook

Publication Date: August 7, 2018 

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

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.

This book really hit me in the heart. I won’t say that I necessarily understood the characters because I don’t know that I saw much of myself in any of them. Calla was a little to superficial especially in the beginning and her father definitely rubbed the wrong way with his abandonment. What I loved about this book though was that they all had layers(like an onion!). Calla was superficial, but she also loved deeply and fiercely. She loved her mother and Simon, and even her best friend. She was loyal and cared about all of them, even her father although she didn’t want to.

Wren was harder for me because he was the adult. Calla was carrying around a lifetime of heartache brought on by the fact that her father let her leave Alaska when she was two. Only seeing her when she made the trip at twenty-six. I want to rail against him, I feel like I’m still harboring anger for Calla. This is probably because I’m a mother and I felt Calla’s hurt just coming off the pages. That being said, I did love the relationship they did end up cultivating. There were reasons for Wren missing trips, some good and some bad, but mostly Wren was human with all the frailties that come with it. This quote sums it up perfectly “You should have called him. He should have called you. Your mom should never have left. Wren should have left Alaska for you. Who the hell knows what’s right, and what it would have led to, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t change any of that.”

All my talking about fathers and daughters has kind of glossed over the fact that this is supposed to be a romance book, and Jonah was freaking amazing. I liked that he was a manly man, but without the sexism that usually comes with it. He was all for Calla being empowered and finding her way. That being said, I did NOT like how he berated her in the beginning about her beauty. I understand that he thought the superficiality ran deep, but it still isn’t an excuse. However Jonah’s assumptions did get proven wrong on multiple occasions and he had to recognize that his behavior was wrong. I did love that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It left me with a book hangover and an inability to move on. Despite the few things that rubbed me the wrong way I’d still give 4.5 out of 5 stars.