Prick of the Needle
Can Wren leave her troubled past behind her, to live a more simple and sustainable way of life?
Twenty something Wren (Gretchen) Meyer was heavily bullied as a teenager. Seeking love and self-acceptance, she fell into a wrong crowd at school and became involved in illegal drugs. Her boyfriend, Gabe, died tragically in her bed of a heroin overdose. Overcome with grief for her first love, Wren falls into a deep depression, and spirals further into drug addiction. When the property she is squatting in is raided by the police, Wren is arrested, charged and sentenced to eight years in the state penitentiary. During her prison sentence, Wren enrols in a program to learn how to become a wildland firefighter. Soon after her release, she is offered a paid position with the fire department, and becomes a crew supervisor, tackling wildfires across Arizona.
Wren meets new friends, and is happy and content in her role, but her depression and addiction never leave her, and she battles every day to stay clean. When a new crew arrives to help tackle the wildfires that are sweeping out of control, Wren meets Elijah, a Native American fire fighter, and single father, from the Navajo Nation. Both have been hurt previously and are afraid of commitment, but their relationship slowly blossoms over time, and they fall in love. When Wren has to leave town following her father’s sudden death, Elijah realises that he cannot live without her. He develops a plan to leave the fire service, and to make a living off the land as an ‘agricultural warrior’. Will Wren leave the job she loves and friends she adores and join Elijah? Can she leave her troubled past behind her, to live a more simple and sustainable way of life? And how can she use her own experiences of addiction, depression, and incarceration, to support others?
Prick of the Needle by Juliet Rose is a wonderful novel about two young adults who must learn how to conquer their own fears, pain and trauma, to move forward in their lives together. This is a heart warming love story, with great characterisation, a unique setting, and an imaginative plot. The book highlights some of the stressors and pressures on young people today, and the great work being done to help rehabilitate offenders and provide meaningful jobs after release. The book also provides a fascinating insight into regenerative agriculture, that certainly made me question my own life choices.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: A wonderful love story, with great characterisation, a unique setting, and an imaginative plot.