Publication Date: 1999
On a six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, nine-year-old Trisha McFarland quickly tires of the constant bickering between her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. But when she wanders off by herself, and then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut, she becomes lost in a wilderness maze full of peril and terror. As night falls, Trisha has only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, and only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fears. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox baseball games and follows the gritty performances of her hero, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio’s reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her — protecting her from an all-too-real enemy who has left a trail of slaughtered animals and mangled trees in the dense, dark woods.
This is not your typical “Stephen King” story in that there are no murders,no eerie monsters, no haunted houses or hotels, no crazed animals, and no gore. This is a story of a young girl who gets off the path on a nature hike with her mom and brother and doesn’t realize just how lost she is. She has a bit of food, some water and a power drink , chips and a twinkie but soon this is gone and thanks to her resourcefulness she finds nuts and berries and water(although it makes her sick). To keep her company she has a walkman and only listens to baseball games featuring her hero, Tom Gordon, a closer. Tom, although not there in person, becomes her lifeline and gets her through many hard days and nights. Thank heavens, the author gave the story a happy ending because he could have ended it badly. I love Stephen King and this is the second time I’ve listened to this “book” but it won’t be the last.