“I reached a stubby little tree growing out of a crack in the middle of the cliff. Standing on a ledge about the width of my feet, I held on to a spindly branch and looked down. It was a long way to the ground, maybe thirty feet, but instead of feeling fear, I tingled with excitement…”
So begins Jan Redford‘s new memoir, End of the Rope. Fourteen-year-old Jan, who longs to “be the adventurer, not marry one,” scales a 100-foot rock face near her family’s cabin in the Laurentians. No ropes, no experience, just extreme determination to reach the top and prove her mettle.
From there Jan learns to climb rock and ice, risking it all for the purpose of going as far as possible, finding her centre on the wall and standing her ground in the home.
I just received an early copy of this riveting memoir, which I acquired and edited for Random House Canada (when I left the mothership, Anne Collins stepped in to usher it through final polish and production).
End of the Rope is funny, tragic, and inspiring as all get out. Jan’s is a story of living bravely and vulnerably; of finding strength in the everyday and also the courage to go beyond what the everyday demands of us. Knowing Jan for these few years has made me see the world with more adventurous eyes while encouraging me to expose my tender side. Now I’m scraping up that tender side while I learn to climb, which I never would have believed back when I signed the book and Jan threatened to take me climbing in Squamish. It’s on, Jan.
End of the Rope is on sale April 3, 2018.