Recommendation: Grand Ambition

buyafriendabook.com039305047501_bo2204203200_pisitb-dp-500-arrowtopright45-64_ou01_aa240_sh20_sclzzzzzzz_.jpgI enjoyed Going Back to Bisbee so much that I thought I’d try another One Book, One Arizona selection. Grand Ambition by Lisa Michaels was chosen for the honor in 2005. It is a fictional account based on the real life journey of Glen and Bessie Hyde, who attempted to navigate the Colorado River by boat in the fall of 1928. Near the end of their trip, they mysteriously disappeared. Michaels does not tell the “real” story in her novel. She pieces together what might have happened.

Riding the rapids is not my idea of a good time. Yikes! Way too life-threatening. However, reading about riding the rapids is my idea of a great time. The descriptions of the Grand Canyon are fabulous. Even more fabulous, though, is the character development. I didn’t think I’d have much in common with someone like Bessie Hyde, who goes on this grand adventure with her husband. Turns out, Bessie always had her nose in a book–just like me! She was a poet and an artist, and spent some time in San Francisco. My favorite parts of the book were not the actual river scenes. Instead, I connected most with Bessie’s life in San Francisco, when she tries to find her own way, apart from her family and her jilted lover, Earl.

Bessie and Glen are fascinating people, and Lisa Michaels really brings to life their story. I reluctantly put the book down last night and woke this morning eager to pick it up again. Now, that I’ve finished the fictional version of their story, I simply have to read Sunk Without a Stone. I must find out more about the Hydes!



  1. Eliana said

    I read this when it was the book for 2005 and very much enjoyed it, though it was sad and I wished I knew the ‘real’ outcome, while realizing that isn’t possible.

  2. […] Without a Sound is the non-fiction version of Grand Ambition and was also the One Book, One Arizona choice in 2005. As a fiction fan, I must say I did like […]

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