Posted on: February 7, 2020 Posted by: Kim Muncie Comments: 0

If you are looking for a book about life that’s different from the usual account and non-fiction, I think you can scarcely do better than Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail: An Interactive Guide to Navigating Life with Confidence, Solidarity, and Compassion. I think the word solidarity in the title is unquestionably important. She tailors this book to speak to women’s experience in modern life, particularly American life, though the book reaches further than that. Any woman in an industrialized and successful society can relate to nearly any aspect of life she takes on in this book and there’s nothing about the way she tackles life that will strain your belief. It’s all the more interesting that she does so in such an innovative fashion.


There’s some important research that she did to strengthen this book, but the most important part is how she builds the work. Blaze Your Own Trail is nearly like a novel in the way it approaches narrative, but she confounds conventional wisdom but installing a wide variety of alternate “plot developments” into the narrative. She asks readers at the end of each of its 58 chapters to make two choices that will take them to different chapters and send the book’s main character down different paths in her life. It’s an interesting approach to what we normally expect from such work and sets it apart as like nothing else I’ve read in recent history.

She puts it out there too in an easy to follow way. There’s no pandering to the reader, no sense of dumbing things down so we can understand what’s going on, but she nonetheless comes to readers on their level. It’s never hammy and melodramatic. That’s another thing I love about it. I’ve experienced many of the same things contained in this book, I’ve heard friends who have went through other of the same moments, and it’s this part of this book that will perhaps carry the greatest weight with female readers.


Having said that, I believe men can get something out of this book as well. Insights into what women experience and how they feel, yes, but it is madness to think men are immune to the pain of martial failure, numb to martial joy, and don’t experience pain watching and assisting their failing parents. Bastian leads a high powered professional life as a Vice President with Zillow Group, but that doesn’t stop me or any other open-minded reader from relating to what she depicts in this book.

Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail: An Interactive Guide to Navigating Life with Confidence, Solidarity, and Compassion has the sort of jolt experienced readers are looking for. It isn’t a same old, same old text rolling through the predictable turns of fiction and non-fiction alike. It is her first book, but you can’t tell. Instead, she’s written an inspired book brimming with imagination and insight that’s difficult to forget and begs for additional reading thanks to the various approaches that you can take while reading the book.

Kim Muncie

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