Mother, Nature: A 5,000-Mile Journey To Discover If a Mother and Son Can Survive Their Differences

Convergent. Nov. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9780593137260. $27. MEMOIR
In the 1970s, Jenkins’s parents walked from New Orleans to Oregon on foot; it became a famous story that was captured in various magazines, including National Geographic, and eventually in a book that sold more than 12 million copies. In 2020, Wilderness magazine executive editor Jenkins (Like Streams to the Ocean) endeavored to retrace his parents’ steps on a road trip with his mother as a way to strengthen their relationship and to bridge a divide so commonly seen in modern America: the polar opposition on views of sexuality, contextualized against the backdrop of religion and politics. During the journey, Jenkins, a liberal gay man, and his mother, a conservative Christian woman, are able to find what many people struggle to achieve: a way to peacefully coexist.
VERDICT Their path is not always easy, and some of their conversations are painfully raw, but through it all, their love and respect for each other shine brightly.
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