Zoje Stage


Mystery / Thriller


Date Reviewed:

January 6, 2022

read a review somewhere that described the Getaway as a tense and thrilling story, like The River by Peter Heller. But now I cannot find that review that made the Getaway sound so intriguing - because I would like to reread that review and see what made this book sound so attractive. This was not a random book that I selected off of the library shelves, this was one that I ordered out of the catalog because it sounded thrilling. A big disappointment. I would rate it 2.5 stars, which I have quite generously rounded up to 3 stars. I am not inclined to read any more works by Zoje Stage, no matter how glowing the reviews might be.

Getaway is the story of three young women who decide to take a week long hiking journey down into the Grand Canyon at the end of the season, into a remote area on the Boucher Trail, a rarely hiked trail that has only limited water sources. Two of hikers, Imogen and Beck, are experienced, having hiked in the Grand Canyon with their parents when they were younger. The third hiker is Tilda, with no experience in outdoors adventures, but is game to try this trip. Beck has suggested it would be a great way to getaway and de-stress. Cut off from the electronic universe, to wander and reflect in the beauty of nature. Imogen and Beck are sisters, they close despite being quite different. Beck is a physician, whereas Imogen, the younger sister, is a novelist with one book to her name, and she is struggling to come up with an idea for what to write next. Tilda is a long time friend that they have known since childhood, she apparently is an aspiring actress and makes money as an influencer on social media.

The Boucher Trail descends quite steeply from the South Rim, it is supposed to be a challenge even for experienced hikers, so it is a surprising selection by Beck to take newbie Tilda down there for her first outdoors experience. There is one point where the trail apparently crosses a large boulder before descending sharply around a corner - the hiker must clamber over this obstacle without being able to see the narrow trail on the other side - and of course there is a steep cliff should you slip. I thought that this obstacle would be a major plot point, but it hardly figures in the story at all.

I found that I didn't like the three women much - I thought perhaps the practical Beck-the-physician would be likable, but after she begins her "I brought you both down here to talk about your issues" speech on the banks of the Colorado river, I decided that I didn't like her either. Who would want friends like these? Nor did I find the story that suspenseful. I was disappointed by some of the characters actions, which I will explain in the spoilers section.

This book is not recommended.