Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail: An Interactive Guide to Navigating Life with Confidence, Solidarity, and Compassion is, without a doubt, the product of her life’s experiences, but she doesn’t make it obvious. This isn’t some non-fiction literal account of her personal journey – instead, she takes a much different, if not radical, approach. Bastian appeals to the reader’s sense of playfulness and curiosity by giving them the option of taking the book’s “protagonist” in different directions and seeing what path those decisions might foster. This is a satisfying way of engaging the reader in a manner that accounts that are more conventional might offer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: rebekahbastian.com/
I definitely relate to how the book speaks to female experience, but I don’t think anyone’s appraisal of the book should be limited. Instead, it’s clear this book has a larger agenda, though unspoken. Of course, no man experiences parenthood in quite the same way that a mother does, nor do they experience the connection to a mother in the same way. These are small quibbles overall, really. The bigger picture here is that this is an immensely human book. The way she speaks to the common experiences of all people, while centering them on female experiences, is one of the strongest suits of this book.
As mentioned earlier, it’s obvious her personal story makes a big impact on this book. She worked at Microsoft and now serves as Vice President of Community & Culture at Zillow Group overseeing their efforts in Equity and Belonging, Social Impact, and Cultural Engagement. Her duties in and passion for these endeavors has, without question, brought her into contact with a wide sphere of experiences, victories, setbacks, and insights that make her an ideal author for Blaze Your Own Trail.
It also gives her the fluency and plain-spoken style to deliver this account to readers in appealing ways. She never writes in a high flown style that talks “over the readers head’s” and this is a wise decision considering the unusual structure of Blaze Your Own Trail. A more convoluted, less conversational might make this book harder to comprehend. Her appeal to women is clear, but her writing style makes certain this book will reach a wide audience and likely experience much success.
Let’s hope she enjoys it. In a world where readers suffer with clichéd and cookie-cutter works that fail to break any new ground or make us see the world in a different light, Bastian has succeeded in presenting a recognizable world in a creative fashion. The fact she accomplishes it without relying on hoary devices or predictable turns makes it even more notable. Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail: An Interactive Guide to Navigating Life with Confidence, Solidarity, and Compassion speaks to the female experience as I, and many others, see it, but it takes in the world as well and leaves us in turns entertained and enlightened by seeing ourselves in this wonderful book she has written. I cannot recommend this book enough and hope that she writes many more.