Reviews from other authors

For people like Amy Racina, there are no tragedies in life: accidents beget spiritual connections, the struggle of recovery produces affirmation, and adversity becomes opportunity with a simple flick of faith. Far too seldom does a survival story come to someone who can interpret its messages for the rest of us, yet that is what Amy does best. From my own experience of survival, I found her summary of the spiritual tools that helped her endure and flourish to be chock full of penetrating truth. Future survivors would do well to study up on Chapter 35 before their big test! -Aron Ralston, author of “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”

There are few books that grip me from page one, and “Angels In The Wilderness” was one of them. Being a lover of survival stories, I was most drawn to this aspect of Amy's story, but what I came away with was a deeper appreciation for, as Alfred Lansing wrote as a dedication in Endurance, 'Whatever it is that makes men accomplish the impossible.' Of course, (wo)men is more appropriate in today's day and age, and Amy's honest, and descriptive prose make it another story that will pass the test of time and be referred to for years as yet another example of an ordinary person accomplishing an extraordinary feat, and living to tell the story. - Eric Blehm, author of “The Last Season”

This is the best book I have read in a very long time. Just reading the synopsis on the book jacket, I was moved to tears. And from there, it kept getting better. I could not put it down...had to read it all in one sitting. Besides being an incredible human being--as you will see as you read about her accident, her days alone in the wilderness, her dramatic rescue, and her courageous recovery--Amy Racina is an exceptionally fine writer and story-teller. So many times, I found my self right there with her, feeling my own helplessness, mortality, fear, hope, self-doubt, courage, and gratitude. After reading this book, I am inspired to live my own life more fully. I hope that feeling lasts! It is with reverence for the human spirit that I recommend this book to you."-Susan Campbell, author of Getting Real, and Saying What's Real."

A poetic epic of initiation: separation, trials, providence, transformation, and return. An utter inspiration for the soul’s journey to wholeness and heart. The voice of Amy Racina is an angel from the wilderness, come to bring us an important message about the wonders and perils of our world." -Anodea Judith, author of Eastern Body, Western Mind and Waking the Global Heart"

It’s 1 A.M. and tears are rolling down my eyes as I read the final draft of this book as it goes to press. I’ve worked in publishing for twenty years, and I’ve read hundreds, perhaps thousands, of manuscripts, by some of the most influential and inspiring authors of our time. But I can’t remember a time when a book affected me as deeply as Angels in the Wilderness has done.

The story in these pages is intense. You will laugh, you will cry, but from the first page, this book will hold you, and not let you go. As a story of human courage and persistence, it is unparalleled. As a parable that challenges us to find the best within ourselves, it is remarkable. As an honest and beautifully-written story, it is searing. And as a reminder that in the most desperate of circumstances, grace, humor, wisdom and the gentle touch of God’s spirit are available, it is profound. -Dawson Church, editor Healing the Heart of the World author Soul Medicine

Editorial Reviews:

Angels In The Wilderness: The True Story Of One Woman's Survival Against All Odds is the biographical story of how heroine and author Amy Racina became lost in deep wilderness and faced a truly life-threatening situation. After falling sixty feet onto a granite boulder during a solo hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Northern California, she kept herself alive through sheer determination. Dragging herself by her hands despite exhaustion and pain, she survived four days until her cries were heard by another hiker and she was airlifted out of the canyon. Angels In The Wilderness was written shortly after her miraculous survival, and includes black-and-white photographs as well as quotes from a journal she kept while hiking the trail. The 'you are there' experience of survival is especially fresh and absorbing. A profound true story of human courage and the will to live. - Midwest Book Review - October 2005

Award-winning graphic artist Amy Racina went on her first backpacking trip with her family at age sixteen. This was the beginning of a life-long love affair. As an adult she found herself often “suffused with longing to be in the mountains as I make my way through ordinary life.” Amy made it a custom to spend some time alone in the wilderness each year, and in the summer of 2003 she decided to make her “trip of a lifetime” through some of the roughest, most inaccessible, and most staggeringly beautiful terrain of the Sierra Mountains. But in the far flung reaches of the Sierras, Amy lost her trail, and then with one life-changing step, fell over sixty feet onto a harsh slab of rock, breaking numerous bones, smashing her nose, and sustaining severe bruises all over her body. She was already off trail and had not seen another human being in two full days. This is the remarkable story of how she survived for four days, unable to stand and barely able to move, how she was rescued by three passing “angels” who heard her calls for help—and how she recovered and returned to her beloved mountains less than two years later.

More than the story itself, the writing here is suffused with glowing honesty and wonder, bracing as mountain air. “’Please let me live. Please help me,’ I pray. . . . I am led to remember that eventually all humankind will die. . . . I feel the quality of the sacred in the very desperation of my situation.” The “quality of the sacred” is precisely what characterizes this courageous and oddly tender tale.- Fearless Reviews - November 2005

This extraordinary tale is one of the very few wilderness survival epics. Most solo hikers who suffer severe injury off trail do not make it out. Their story is told, if at all, on tattered scraps of paper found on their body. Amy Racina fell sixty feet onto granite, both legs were broken, a hip and kneecap were fractured, and she had open wounds.
Once I got started on this book, I hated to put it down. This is the kind of thing every hiker pushes to the back of their mind. "So there's no trail, I've done this lots of times. I'm always careful, so I'll be fine". Amy wasn't fine.

The book starts with the fall. The first sentence is "So this is how it ends." as she thinks she is going to die. The next two chapters give you the background - how she grew up a hiker, and how she was on this "trip of a lifetime" when she fell. I'm following along, nodding my head as she describes the backcountry and plans her trip, but I'm tense knowing what is to come.

After the fall, she decides to try to get down the canyon where she should hit a trail. She can move a few yards a day, sometimes calling for help. At maybe a day from death, someone hears her and the rescue begins. This is enough already for a good book, but there is a whole second part of this story that also demands your attention. It took a large support system of friends, and an immense amount of painful and exhausting physical therapy - the Repairing Amy part.

Amy is now out backpacking again. We have a friend who has been going through physical therapy for a stroke for a couple of years, and this book made me realize that I really didn't have a clue about what she was going through.

For me as a backpacker, the drama of the hiking story is the compelling reason to read the book, but I recommend it to anyone who is encountering the experience of repairing the body through extensive physical therapy. It is very, very difficult, but it can be done.
Backpack 45 – February 2006

Spiritual lessons at their best - In telling the story of her terrifying fall, miraculous rescue, and complete recovery, Amy fully engages the reader. She proves herself to be an excellent storyteller. Filling us in on background details, she takes us through her preparation for what will be the hike of her life. Traveling with her along the trail with vivid images of the beauty of the wilderness is exhilarating. During the four long days and nights of solitude in the ravine after the fall, her strength of mind, body, and spirit begins to be revealed. The shattering pain of her rescue brings tears. Once she is in the hospital friends begin to gather, providing the support she needs for the long, painful recovery process. She learns, and teaches us all, that one life indeed does make a difference.

As much as I enjoyed the story, one of my favorite parts of the book is contained in the last few chapters where Amy shares with us the spiritual lessons that helped her through her ordeal. She speaks of the spiritual tools that not only kept her alive, but helped her overcome pain and suffering. She speaks at length of gratitude. In a few short chapters she crystallizes for the reader those threads of spirit that weave in and out of the entire story. There is much that I have in common with Amy through beliefs, connections to a variety of people (in average places and alternative communities alike), and survival of life altering physical trauma. She inspires me to tell my own story.
I would recommend this book to most any adults and young adults I know. The story is wonderfully written. The lessons learned apply to each of us. It greatly exceeds my expectations based on the synopsis. I am grateful for the chance to read and review "Angels in the Wilderness." - Reader Views (Abbie Yandle) – July 2006

Reader Reviews

*****In Awe of Love, Life, and Miracles I just finished reading this book. I'm still searching for the words to describe the way I felt throughout the journey of the book. It was beautifully written to express the raw emotion of Amy's turmoil and aspects of the impacts it left on her life. It makes you believe in life as a miracle and wonderful changes that fate brings us all. I'm so glad Amy survived and wrote her story for us.

***** An Epic Tale. An epic true-life adventure tale. Wilderness survival at it's finest. Excellent story and insight.

*****An Amazing Spirited Woman. Thank you Amy for coming back to share your awesome story and your incredible inspiration. You are truly an amazing spirited woman!

*****Courageous Tale
I don't know anyone who would have come through this experience with so much style let alone live to write such a stunning account of their ordeal. Amy's courageous tale is such an inspiration to me as I am sure it will be to all who read it.

*****Spiritual AND down to Earth . . . . . . . Literally. Just as an adventure story it is exciting reading. As a soul-examination in the face of death it is enlightening reading. As an exploration of life versus risk it is intriguing reading. And she is a writer with a superb way with words, a great pleasure to read. You will want to read this book more than once.

*****Great book, great story Read almost the whole thing in one sitting. Wanted to find out how Amy got rescued, wanted to find out how she recovered, wanted to find out how she paid the medical bills, wanted to find out how her community of family and friends dealt with her needs and wanted to find out how she processed all this stuff internally and who she became as a result of the whole story. Lovely, scary, insightful and inspiring book. Thank you Amy.

*****Not to be missed! Amy interweaves personal history, her hair raising accident and recovery, and introspection about the experience into a searingly honest account of one person's spirituality. Impossible to put down. Her accident becomes a lens through which she focuses the value of everyday life. Her revelations are shared with generosity and grace, becoming a celebration of humanity. The book offers a rare window on introversion at its glorious best.

***** Truth, Clarity and Heart
This book is sure to become a literary classic! Every page rings with truth, clarity and heart. The attention to detail is woven with wrenching emotional depth to create an engaging read. An incredible adventure tale by a promising new writing talent.