Adventures with Emilie

by Victoria Bruce


A mother and daughter's wild journey to rediscover the wonder and restorative power of nature.

“I’m here because I want to test the very limits of my own resilience and reassure myself that no matter what’s happened to me, I’m not ready to lie down and die.”

In 2021, Victoria Bruce quit her corporate job, packed up her life and embarked on Te Araroa trail with her seven-year-old daughter, Emilie. On the 3000-kilometre journey that traverses the length of Aotearoa, the duo faced Covid lockdowns, the harsh elements of New Zealand’s backcountry and even a near-death experience.

A keen tramper, Victoria’s drive to complete the walk was to take time out, create lasting memories with Emilie and reconnect with nature. But it was also a way for her to face her past, and the events that led to her post-traumatic stress disorder.

In this remarkable book, Victoria interweaves her experiences on the trail with reflections on her painful childhood, her time in state care, recovering from addiction and assault, becoming a mother, and escaping everyday life to finally confront her demons.

Powerful and evocative, this is a story about the healing power of nature, our wondrous unique environment, the deep bond between mother and daughter, and survival – both in the wilderness and in life itself.


Format: Paperback
Page Count: 336 Pages
Imprint: Penguin
Published: Aug 2023
ISBN: 9781776950478

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