In these essays Pam Houston treats us to a celebration of real-life adventures which range over five years and five continents. But whatever Houston's destination - whether Bhutan or Bolivia or Traverse City - it is only the starting point from which she extracts her personal emotional journey. She is searching here for a place - not too safe but not too threatening - from which to negotiate mountain goats and river ice, camping trips and wine. Through her we meet some good dogs, a few good men, and the occasional grizzly. There's a horse named Roany with the presence of a Zen master. And there's a Buddhist named Karma, all proving what Houston has always suspected: fiction has nothing on real life.