The Trail of Lost Hearts
by Tracey Garvis Graves
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Pub Date 26 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 09 Apr 2024
Thirty-four-year-old Wren Waters believes that if you pay attention, the universe will send you
exactly what you need. But her worldview shatters when the universe delivers two life-altering
blows she didn’t see coming, and all she wants to do is put the whole heartbreaking mess behind
her. No one is more surprised than Wren when she discovers that geocaching—the outdoor
activity of using GPS to look for hidden objects—is the only thing getting her out of bed and out
of her head. She decides that a weeklong solo quest geocaching in Oregon is exactly what she
needs to take back control of her life.
Enter Marshall Hendricks, a psychologist searching for distraction as he struggles with a life-
altering blow of his own. Though Wren initially rebuffs Marshall’s attempt at hiker small talk,
she’s beyond grateful when he rescues her from a horrifying encounter farther down the trail. In
the interest of safety, Marshall suggests partnering up to look for additional caches. Wren’s no
longer quite so trusting of the universe—or men in general—but her inner circle might argue that
a smart, charismatic psychologist isn’t the worst thing the universe could place in her path.
What begins as a platonic road trip gradually blossoms into something deeper, and the more
Wren learns about Marshall, the more she wants to know. Now all she can do is hope that the
universe gets it right this time.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 177 members
Each novel by Tracey Garvis Graves keeps getting better and better as her style and subject matter matures. In this story, two individuals who are experiencing troubled times in their lives happen to meet while geocaching. Wren and Marshall are each trying to travel solo so that they can put some distance between themselves and the heartache they are facing. When Marshall comes across Wren in a horrible situation he is able to save her and a friendship starts to build as they decide to join forces while geocaching. As a psychologist, Marshall is able to help Wren unpack some of her complicated feelings. As their friendship turns romantic, is it possible to move forward after their adventure when Marshall isn't ready to share his troubles? Wren wants someone who checks all of her boxes and that means full transparency. As life keeps throwing curveballs their way, Wren and Marshall have to grow individually so that maybe they have a chance at a future. On another note, I loved the geocaching element of the story- truly unique and caught my interest.
Tracey Garvis Graves never let's me down. She hooked me from the first page and I couldn't stop reading. Wren and Marshall are the perfect characters in this story. They each fight their own battles with grief and loss. Their road to finding peace brought them together on a magical adventure. IThis book captivated my heart. I'm obsessed with Wren and Marshall. Their lives and their stories. This book was magic, romantic, funny, heartbreaking and beautifully written.
"Standing here with nothing but the blue sky above, I feel like the bird I was named after. My mother chose the name Wren because she thought it was beautiful but also because the wren is a harbinger of spring and rebirth. I am being reborn. I am beginning to soar."
I was so lucky to be an early reader of this charming, beautiful book. I'm a fan of Tracey Garvis Graves and this book doesn't disappoint. Wren and Marshall, both suffering tragic loses, meet while geocaching in the Pacific Northwest. Marshall saves Wren from a horrible situation, but Wren is not looking to be saved. However, they form a connection and both work through their hurt to try and figure out whether they belong together. The early scenes in the Northwest are so beautiful written, you feel as if you're there. When Wren flies back to her home in Dayton, OH, the plot takes over and I couldn't put the book down. What a wonderful book of loss and love.
When I open a Tracey Garvis Graves novel, I know two things are certain: 1) I will see myself in the characters and 2) Graves will take me on a journey of growth and happiness. And that’s exactly what we get in “The Trail of Lost Hearts”.
Wren and Marshall are both dealing with heartbreaking losses, yet a chance encounter sends both on a journey of healing and love. Set in the Pacific Northwest, readers walk side by side with Wren and Marshall as they work through their emotional baggage – on and off the hiking trails. I love that TGG skipped the overused tropes and gave us mature characters who truly wanted to grow and learn, who wanted to be open and honest from the start. Nothing irks me more than when authors dumb down characters and solutions in hopes of pulling off popular tropes.
As Wren and Marshall find themselves on the hiking trails of the PNW, they also find the courage to believe in love again, to reach for happiness. I found Wren to be far braver than I would be considering the circumstances she finds herself in. She really gives grace when I would have been less forgiving. Her character arc is one that gives me hope for other women for find themselves dealing with devasting losses and surprising developments. Marshall is the quite kind of love interest. One who is respectful and endearing, who gives space when needed yet provides comfort when Wren needs it most. He is a slow build hero and I often thought he was a lot like Jonathan in Graves’s book “The Girl He Used to Know”, which is a must read if you haven’t already.
“The Trail of Lost Hearts” is the perfect story of second chances – both platonic and romantic. Not only do we get a love story from TGG, but we are also gifted the chance to see two individuals find themselves while hiking through the great outdoors. Speaking of you can tell the author really did her homework on both the PNW and Wren’s hometown. I always find joy in seeing locations I’m familiar with being well written in pieces of fiction.
* Thanks to the publisher for my ARC *
Tracey has this way of snagging your attention from the. Very. First. Sentence. And not letting go until you’ve finished the book and sat with your thoughts for an hour. And maybe then some more. These characters were so darn LOVABLE and I could read more and more and more of their story and never be bored.
Wren has embarked on a geocaching journey amidst some trauma in her life, when she encounters Marshall along the way. Marshall is battling some horrors of his own, and the two strike up a friendship.
I will forever be a reader if this authors work, and her latest does not disappoint. Grab this one as soon as you can!
I was so drawn to and invested in Marshall and Wren's story from the very beginning up until the very end. I loved Marshall and Wren and loved them for each other. I really admired and appreciated the psychological aspect of these two characters and all the obstacles they had to overcome and growth they needed to do over the course of the book. The first half of the book follows the slow-burn yet also whirlwind week after Wren and Marshall first meet geocaching in Oregon. The second half focuses on the several months after when Wren is back home in Ohio. A beautiful and emotional read that felt truthful and real which are my favorite qualities to a romance novel.
First time reading work by this author and enjoyed it immensely. So happy to have witnessed Marshall and Wren's love. And I so appreciated the message that if we're paying attention, the universe gives us exactly what we need!! Much gratitude to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
Hands down, without a doubt, one of my favorite books this year... possibly ever! I read "The Girl He Used To Know" a few years back and absolutely loved it, but for whatever reason hadn't really picked up any more of Tracey Garvis Graves's books since then. I am SO glad that changed. The Trail of Lost Hearts is such an amazing story of love and loss. The power of resilience emanates from this book! I'm a reader in my free time, but clinical mental health therapist in my professional life. I was so proud of the sound advice and advocacy found in this book! I've read many books featuring a character in the mental health profession and my head almost explodes with the ethical violations and boundary crossing that is (often unknowingly) included. But not this time. TGG handled the situation beautifully and with care.
Wren - my heart breaks for her, while simultaneously cheering her on. As someone who has also been blindsided by duplicity in a relationship - I could relate to the emotions she cycled through on such an authentic level. Her grief and shame and anger were so REAL. And Marshall. Oh, Marshall. I just wanted to hug that man. He is everything. And such bravery on both of their parts.
I felt like I was watching Wren and Marshall's stories unfold in real time - as Wren figured things out about Marshall's past I was nodding along with her as if I was discovering new information too. It all made so much sense! And let me just say, this story is fictional, but there are some amazing truth bombs throughout. I have never underlined or saved quotes from a fictional story.... until now. So much goodness wrapped up in this book.
This is a must read - and a must re-read. A book that I will be thinking about long after I put it back on my shelf. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this book (and some free therapy!) in exchange for my honest review.
So many thanks to St. Martin's Press for the chance to read this book early!
I was so excited to read a new Tracy Garvis Graves book; I opened this story immediately and finished it the same day! The characters were incredibly endearing and emotionally mature. It was a joy to read about two characters who were intent on growing to be better people after the hardships they endured. The outdoorsy settings and geocaching plotlines were fun, making me want to travel to Crater Lake or some of the other places mentioned for beautiful views and hiking. Such a feel-good story that made for a relaxing Saturday read. This is a great novel for fans of Happiness for Beginners!
What a beautiful change of pace! My heart is so full that I can not even put into words how I feel exactly.
Tracey, has been a forever favorite of mine since I read “On the Island”… (that is my go to heart - love story book and I’m certain it will always be!)
She has this magical ability to pull her readers in from the first chapter but she also has this God given ability to surface emotions in you that you never knew existed.
This novel of love, heartache, loss, finding yourself, growth, strength and healing … heck all the things, is a superlative skill that some authors can not even dream of.
Please do yourself a favor and add this story of Wren and Marshall’s beautiful journey to your TBR list NOW!!
The Trail of Lost Hearts is set to publish on March 26, 2024.
Thank you Tracey, for using your magnificent skills to give us a story that will stick with us for life.
Also, a special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.