Diane Les Becquets

Some women are born wild. Some are made.

Breaking Wild is the debut adult novel by Diane Les Becquets from Berkley Books (Penguin Random House).  In this suspense book, a woman hunter finds a fights for survival in the wilderness.

About Breaking Wild

“A deep and deeply nuanced meditation on survival. This is a thrilling, gorgeous debut, a novel that explores the human capacity to persevere despite the wounds of the past and the perils of the present.”
–Bret Anthony Johnston, National Bestselling author of Remember Me Like This and Corpus Christi

It is the last weekend of the season for Amy Raye Latour to get away. Driven to spend days alone in the wilderness, Amy Raye, mother of two, is compelled by the quiet and the rush of nature. But this time, her venture into a remote area presents a different set of dangers than Amy Raye has planned for and she finds herself on the verge of the precarious edge that she’s flirted with her entire life.
When Amy Raye doesn’t return to camp, ranger Pru Hathaway and her dog respond to the missing person’s call. After an unexpected snowfall and few leads, the operation turns into a search and recovery. Pru, though, is not resigned to that. The more she learns about the woman for whom she is searching, and about Amy Raye’s past, the more she suspects that Amy Raye might yet be alive. Pru’s own search becomes an obsession for a woman whose life is just as mysterious as the clues she has left behind.
As the novel follows Amy Raye and Pru in alternating threads, Breaking Wild assumes the white-knuckled pace of a thriller laying bare Amy Raye’s ultimate reckoning with the secrets of her life, and Pru’s dogged pursuit of the woman who, against all odds, she believes she can find.

This suspense book is a perfect book club selection, particularly for readers interested in strong female characters, survival fiction, and breathtaking natural settings.


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Praise for Breaking Wild

“Les Becquets masterfully builds the feeling of suspense throughout the story in a slow burn that ends in a climax of explosive intensity.”
— Erin Dodier, The Union Leader

“The sheer force of this book lies in the force of its two main characters. These are complicated women [who are] defined…not by their histories, their loves, their mistakes, or their suffering, but by their actions. It makes for a powerful, visceral book about the incredible human capacity to transcend the limitations imposed by our own pasts and our own fears.”
Tana French, New York Times Bestselling author of In The Woods and The Secret Place

“This is a powerful story of survival, wilderness field craft, and fractured relationships packed into a suspenseful plot with more than a few surprises….After three young adult novels, Les Becquets scores big with this very adult thriller about two women facing life and death challenges in western Colorado’s rugged wilderness.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“[a] gripping thriller….Les Becquets puts her experience hunting elk with a bow to powerful effect.”
— Jan Gardner, The Boston Globe

Breaking Wild is a compelling story of the two determined women…Author Diane Les Becquets writes a tightly wound novel set against a background filled with details of hunting and outdoor life. The authenticity of the research adds to this tense story of human endurance and determination
Sandra Dallas, The Denver Post

BREAKING WILD keeps you on the edge of your seat for its entire wild ride. You won't put this one down, trust me. Diane Les Becquets brings to life the wilderness and the people who inhabit it in a way I've never read before. Her fresh voice and unique point of view combined with her assured storytelling make BREAKING WILD an exciting read from an exciting writer.”
Ann Hood, New York Times Bestselling author of The Read Thread and An Italian Wife

Breaking Wild is a rare novel in its mastery of both plot and character, with deliberate rhythm, thrilling suspense and a striking backdrop. Its breathless momentum carries through to a dramatic conclusion.”
Julia Jenkins, Shelf Awareness


“. . . Another obvious achievement of the novel is the writing; Les Becquets' prose is as spare, haunting, and nuanced as the wild landscape she brings to life…. It is the human capacity for endurance that is celebrated here, the capacity for friendship, for love, for loyalty, and for living against the odds. A transcendent, breathless exploration of the darkest depths of loneliness and the unbreakable human spirit.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

BREAKING WILD is quite literally mesmerizing.With prose that is lean, spare, and frequently poetic, Diane Les Becquets takes us deeply into the lives of two women, one of them imperiled, the other attempting to save her. What sets this novel apart is how deeply its author dares to venture into the psyches of her two unforgettable protagonists, both of whom are suffering deep loss, while also yearning to soar. This novel certainly does.”
Andre Dubus, III, New York Times Bestselling author of Dirty Love and House of Sand and Fog

"The two chapters alternate between these two women, both living under the shadow of painful pasts…and both capable of remarkable feats of endurance. This is a visceral book building suspense from sensory details. As a page turning, two-pronged wildlife adventure, BREAKING WILD is great fun. It may improve your survival skills, too.”

Sam Sacks on the best new fiction, The Wall Street Journal

After three YA novels (The Stones of Mourning Creek), Les Becquets makes her adult fiction debut with this thoughtful page-turner. . . . and while there’s plenty of suspense, there’s also a thoughtful meditation on the choices both women have made and how their lives have met in this place and time. Though this is fiction, readers who enjoyed the internal development of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild will find a lot to like here.”
Library Journal

“Les Becquets has succeeded in bringing a haunting story to life, chronicling the human will to survive against all odds. She has crafted two central characters that are very relatable to anyone who has experienced loss. Both women make for a captivating story. Their lives have been marred by suffering, but they learn to continue on.” 
— Ryan Curtis, Deseret News


“Diane Les Becquets brings to life the story of two very different and captivating women, whose worlds collide through a series of unexpected and compelling circumstances. When one goes missing in the wilderness and the other sets out to find her, the pages practically turn themselves as the reader races through this harrowing and heart-wrenching tale, determined to discover how it all turns out.”
John Searles, New York Times Bestselling author of Help For The Haunted and Strange But True

“…with strong female protagonists and an outdoor setting that thrills over and over, Breaking Wild is  a novel that will easily absorb your attention for hours.”
—John M. Wills, New York Journal of Books


“Les Becquets pens her first novel for adults, with stellar results….a taut and thrilling narrative….with fascinating details about hunting, the logistics of search-and-rescue, and the beauty and danger of the wilderness.”
Booklist (starred)

“Les Becquets's novel is thick with craggy landscapes that shadow the valleys of the human heart. Harrowing yet compulsive, this novel is as wild as the landscape it portrays, and it's just as dangerous.”
Wiley Cash, New York Times Bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road To Mercy

Les Becquets spins a thrilling story about two strong and mysterious female characters whose resourcefulness and determination help them tackle incredible adversity. Breaking Wild is an extraordinary adventure story whose ending is as tense and suspenseful as anything I have ever read.”
February 2016 Indie Next Pick-American Book Association, Pierre Camy

"In Les Becquets’ crisp, immersive novel…she chronicles the harsh beauty of wintertime in the mountains while reminding us that people aren’t puzzles to be solved; they are fierce works in progress.” 
— Isabella Biedenharn, Entertainment Weekly