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Publisher's Summary

After graduating from college, Jennifer isn't sure what she wants to do with her life. She is drawn to the Appalachian Trail, a 2,175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Though her friends and family think she's crazy, she sets out alone to hike the trail, hoping it will give her time to think about what she wants to do next. The next four months are the most physically and emotionally challenging of her life. She quickly discovers that thru-hiking is harder than she had imagined: coping with blisters and aching shoulders from the 30-pound pack she carries; sleeping on the hard wooden floors of trail shelters; hiking through endless torrents of rain and even a blizzard. 

With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail, braving situations she never imagined before her thru-hike. The trail is full of unexpected kindness, generosity, and humor. And when tragedy strikes, she learns that she can depend on other people to help her in times of need.

©2010 Jennifer Pharr Davis (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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What listeners say about Becoming Odyssa

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amazing

Best hiking story I have listened to! Her description and story is easy to listen to and she is Captivating.

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  • Candice Philpot
  • 2020-10-02

Just read WILD again.

Apologies, but to cut straight to it -- this woman is a loser. From the first chapter it's very clear this is the story of an extremely naive, privileged and sheltered young woman, whose ignorance results in her essentially calling herself a minority because of her religious beliefs -- to the point where she is afraid to discuss them with people she meets on the trail. The twist? SHE'S A CHRISTIAN. This is also the woman who showed up on the trail just assuming she would figure everything out, so I guess it shouldn't be surprising that she also chose to read her own book instead of hiring a voice actor who has experience and may have been able to make the character sound less bratty and a little more empathetic. And to top it all off, this is also the woman who compared her hike to slaves escaping to the North, and bad restaurant service to segregation. Not a joke.

There were parts of this story I enjoyed, and things I learned, but overall it was in no way worth it.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Soren G. Brockdorf
  • 2020-05-04

Great book

I wish I could understand how this book ha relatively small sales and a book like A Walk in the Woods sells millions and become a movie. Don't get me wrong, A Walk in the Woods was a great book, but this book has more depth and truth than that book, and is written just as well--not to mention she went the whole way.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Angela Adams
  • 2020-10-16

Not the best, not the worst

OK, I may be being harsh but I have read several memoirs from thru hikers on the AT and this one falls squarely in the middle of the pack. I can sum her up in three words - pretentious, naive and whiney.

It's hard to believe that while she "prepared" for this hike by thinking about it for years that not once did she come across some of the basic information (e.g., filtering water, cooking meals, mice foot care or even rudimentary gear).

I feel like she was playing the expected "dumb girl" card to gain sympathy or she really is that thick -- it was annoying. Also annoying was her general disdain and superiority complex over weekenders or section hikers, without us honey your trail would not be maintained!

Her voice is very sing songy and whiney which is hard to get past, but overall I do not feel like I wasted time, it was just not one of my top 5 trail reads.

10 people found this helpful

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  • L. Dunwoody
  • 2020-05-24

Love this book

I love to hike but this is a great book to entertain anyone. Full of wisdom and heart felt stories. Anyone wondering why people would hike long distances, this will give you an answer.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Greg Forton
  • 2020-05-15

She has many accomplishments.

This story is about her first journey as a through hiker. All the way through, I was waiting for her to quit based on her reactions to many experiences. Not only did she hang in there, but she went on to achieve greatness! Congrats!!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • AJ
  • 2021-01-26

I tried and I couldn’t get through

I wanted to listen to a book about outdoor adventure from a woman’s perspective and I really gave this one a shot but very quickly it became clear that this was a privileged white girl who did zero to prepare for the trials and tribulations she would face. I made it to chapter 9 and finally decided to do the one thing I hate doing, I had to give up. It’s just not providing any valuable lessons or insight and is really surprising that she earned the accolades she did.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-07-24

A great adventure read.

Having the author read the story of her thru hike was amazing! She put in the exact inflections she intended when she wrote it, so I felt I understood it better than when I read the book myself a few years back. My whole family loved this book!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kerri Rocco
  • 2020-06-28

Outstanding, AT Living Guide Book

Children and adults alike loved Finding Odyssea! We listened to this book as a family in the beginning stages of preparing a northbound hike thru of the Appalachian trail. Jennifer's story telling abilities empower the reader to feel as if they are venturing right alongside; experiencing the interesting, awkward, spiritual awakenings, laughs, tears and beauty that the AT trail has to offer.
Just bought via audible another of her books.

3 people found this helpful

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  • sharon
  • 2020-07-21

very good story

narrator's voice was tough to keep listening to . story was great. her voice was tough.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mickye
  • 2021-01-18

Why write a book that’s negative all the time?

I read thru hike journals and books for two reasons, to be inspired and to learn something about the trail. This fails on both counts. The writer focuses on negative interactions almost incessantly. She shows little insight into her growth or what the trail or trample have to teach. I agree with another reviewer that she comes off privileged and simultaneously perceives herself a minority. Perhaps she should read “White Privilege “. I can’t finish it, now about 2/3 done. It’s just depressing. Check out the lovely “Journeys North” for all a book of this genre should be.

1 person found this helpful