Hiking Underground | Critical Book Review

In the realm of indie literary novels, Amy Smiley’s Hiking Underground offers a contemplative journey into the intersection of art and landscape. Nick Rees Gardner delves into the nuanced aspects of this novel that invites readers to explore the profound connections between the natural world and human experience.

Nature’s Transformative Power

Hiking Underground unfolds as a quiet yet cerebral meditation, exploring how the natural world shapes new perspectives and imparts deeper meaning to our lives. Amy Smiley weaves a narrative centered around three protagonists—Alice, Emma, and Adam—who undergo personal growth and enlightenment through their interactions with nature.

Characters Embracing Nature

The narrative introduces Alice, a college student grappling with a challenging breakup, inadvertently connecting with Emma, a still-life pencil artist. As they traverse the unconventional landscapes of New York City, from Central Park to the Chrysler Building’s Acadian Peregrines, each character finds solace and inspiration in the embrace of nature.

Divergent Perspectives, Converging Worlds

The novel employs alternating perspectives to delve into the characters’ mental landscapes, showcasing the evolving struggles and resolutions that arise as they seek solace in the natural world. Despite the risk of monotony in a subdued narrative, Smiley’s prose captivates with rhythmic sentences, painting vibrant landscapes and offering nuanced language.

Emotional Resonance Over Action

Hiking Underground prioritizes emotion over action, inviting readers to ruminate and find illumination rather than seeking thrills. Smiley’s deliberate choice to leave questions unanswered adds to the contemplative nature of the novel, prompting readers to reflect on the characters’ experiences and the delicate balance between city and country life.

A Celebration of Earth

In a literary landscape often dominated by eco-fiction depicting dystopian scenarios, Smiley’s work stands out as a celebration of the Earth. Hiking Underground shifts the narrative focus, acknowledging environmental challenges and redirecting attention to the beauty of the world around us. In an era of climate change, the novel serves as a reminder of why we cherish our planet and the need to appreciate the wonders that surround us.

In the end, Hiking Underground transcends the conventional boundaries of genre, offering readers a thought-provoking exploration of the intricate relationships between humanity and the natural world.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressLiterary Fiction/Nature214 pages978-1639885923

In the realm of indie literary novels, Amy Smiley’s Hiking Underground offers a contemplative journey into the intersection of art and landscape. Nick Rees Gardner delves into the nuanced aspects of this novel that invites readers to explore the profound connections between the natural world and human experience. Nature’s Transformative Power Hiking Underground unfolds as…