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Amazon Woman

Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and My Quest to Kayak the Largest River from Source to Sea
Written by: Darcy Gaechter
Narrated by: Laura Jennings
Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Part memoir, part feminist manifesto, this narrative shows what incredible feats we are capable of and will encourage people, especially women, across all backgrounds and ages to find the courage and strength to live the life they’ve imagined.

This 148-day journey began on Darcy Gaechter’s 35th birthday. She sold her successful outdoor adventure business, upsetting her partner and boyfriend of 12 years and getting them both fired in the process. The emotional waters that would fester and erupt on the ensuing journey were often more challenging to navigate than the mighty river itself. With blistering lips and irradiated fingernails, Darcy would tackle raging Class Five whitewater for 25 days straight, barely surviving a dynamite-filled canyon being prepared for a new hydroelectric plant. She and her two companions would encounter illegal loggers, narco-traffickers, murderous Shining Path rebels, and ruthless poachers in the black-market trade in endangered species. They would plead for mercy at the hands of the murderous Ashaninka people who were convinced that they had come to steal their children’s organs.

In a desperate attempt meant to give her some pretense of control, Darcy even cut off all her hair before entering Peru’s notoriously dangerous “Red Zone” in hopes of passing for a boy and being seen as less of a target. At once a heart-pounding adventure and a celebration of pushing personal limits, Amazon Woman speaks to all of us feeling trapped by our desk-bound, online society. This a story of finding the courage and strength to challenge nature, cultures, social norms, and oneself.

©2020 Darcy Gaechter (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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  • caleb
  • 09-03-20

Excellent story telling

She did a great job, it was a joy to listen to. Would love to listen to more books by Darcy Gaechter

8 people found this helpful

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  • Scott Shepherd
  • 19-04-20

More than just an adventure book...

There are many facets to this book beyond kayaking, beyond adventure travel, and beyond the now well worn “human spirit triumphs over a seemingly impossible challenge”. While all of those are present and enjoyable here, Darcy reflects on more personal and in many ways more universal questions and issues. The challenges faced by women athletes, the difficulties of relationships and interpersonal dynamics in difficult times, and my personal favorite “What the hell am I doing with my life?” While Darcy chose a very different path in life than I have, many of the questions remain the same. While very few of us can imagine what it’s like to paddle 148 days down the Amazon almost everyone can relate to the agonizing dilemma of trying to choose between something you love and what society / family / and “better judgement” say we should do. It’s this deeper theme that made this book special for me, maybe it’s a different theme for you, there are several good ones to choose from in there.

Additionally, killer job by the narrator! She translates the emotions of the text incredibly well. You can hear the tension, fear, and exhaustion in her voice.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-20

Get ready for an amazing adventure!!!

Even if you don’t whitewater kayak you will enjoy this story from an amazing woman, kayaker and adventurer.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Martha E. Scott
  • 04-04-20

Amazing Amazon Woman

Most excellent book. Quite a feat, physically, mentally, emotionally to kayak the Amazon source to sea. Amazing! I could not stop listening.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan Donnelly
  • 14-03-20

Wow

A brutally honest account of an woman struggling to put her life in order. A least an order that other people expect of one another. The adventure helps her order her life in a way that satisfies her.
No physical challenge can stop her once she learns about herself.
A fantastic read.

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. Donnelly
  • 08-03-20

Great Book for Everyone

Incredible story. I'm not a kayaker, and couldn't stop listening. The narrator wasn't my favorite, but the story is so well written and compelling that I couldn't stop listening. This is an adventure story, but a story of self acceptance. I loved it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-20

Listen critically to this story; the author is not who you want to be.

This is Darcy’s arrogant, pretentious narration of her fully funded trip across South America. I don’t know Darcy but I am also 41 and for the past 22 years I have lived in, worked in, or thought about the Amazon Basin. I listened to this because I have also asked myself many of the questions Darcy asked at the onset of her trip. Darcy doesn’t learn anything or contribute anything via this incredible adventure. Her trip is fully funded by a man she incessantly complains about - Midge - or David. Darcy , he did the work!! You were his employee! She was followed by food carts and helpers all the way to the Atlantic yet she makes it sound like she was “ the first woman to kayak the Amazon” was some kind of accomplishment. Good grief lady, EVERYTHING was done for you! You paddled and that was it. You paddled and nothing more. This is a woman who is so devoted to gazing at her navel that she won’t eat the shrimp caught by extremely poor caboclo people. Because she’s a vegan. She can’t even spare the paragraph in her book to explain who a “caboclo” is”. And she won’t eat anything she hasn’t killed herself. My good grief the moral superiority exuded by this author is reprehensible. No wonder they hate Americans! I have never, ever felt in danger in the Amazon. Not in Pucallpa, not in the gorgeous Río Tapajós. You embarrass me Darcy. You are a very, very small woman indeed. This is a dumb story in which we are forced to listen again and again to Darcy’s major breakdowns of “I” and “me”. She has a Masters in Environmental History yet we learn NOTHING about the history of this majestic river. For a few seconds she talks about the people. She throws in a few quotes from other people who actually did the work. The last two hours were the hardest to listen to. Really vague, unfruitful journey. Please listen critically. I think the most important voice and least heard in this narrative is Midge, or David. He was raised poor and worked his way through life to be able to fund a trip like this. Darcy belittles him. She talks as if being pressured into going to college is some kind of problem. I would like to hear his point of view. He did this. He saw reality and paid for it. Darcy exploited it. At the end Darcy admits that she is who she is. She hasn’t been changed by anything. She’s a snooty, mightier than thou American who is making life ugly for many of us. But she doesn’t care as long as she has her 20 minute adrenaline rush. Listen to her silly story. One more detail....she makes some weird comment at the end about self-help books and how many of them sell. This story is about making money. It’s disgusting and an untruth about the Amazon. If you feel motivated to know the Amazon because of this book, please do so by first knowing the people, NOT buying your way in. That’s what Darcy did. She is a sham.

4 people found this helpful

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  • David M
  • 16-05-20

Great story of adventure and exploration!

The book was great and I loved learning about some of the history of the Amazon river basin and its people. The first chapters were really gripping and I loved experiencing the whitewater sections of the river through the storyteller's voice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-04-20

100% Recommend

Not only a great account of a truely awe-inspiring adventure but a truthful insight into the mental challenges this kind of trip involves. Thank you for your honesty Darcy.