Selected book reviews of Point Last Seen Review

“Point Last Seen offers a harrowing account of what it means to be hunted and never feel quite safe. Hannah Nyala grew up in rural Mississippi, tracking animals through the woods to shoo them away from hunters’ guns. Raised by increasingly religious parents, she jumped from their arms into a suffocating marriage with a man whose escalating violence rocked her life and threatened their children. Her escape from him is temporary and tainted—he repeatedly abducts the children—but allows her to polish nascent skills as a tracker on rescue teams in the national parks. Her lucid, absorbing tracking stories anchor the book. Sown between or within them are frustratingly fragmented sketches of children and family and continuing threats from her ex-husband. (This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.)”

From Library Journal

“Ostensibly, this is an account of a woman who makes her living by rescuing those who lose their way in the wilderness. Yet it is much more. Nyala tells of her childhood memories, destructive marriage, and the development of her tracking skills, providing a view into the mind and heart of a spousal abuse victim. Tracing the psychological development of a woman who deals with fear, frustration, and grief by searching out the secrets of the wilderness, she opens her soul to her listeners. Although the story moves in and out of various segments of her life, it is not difficult to follow the meandering course. Her descriptions of her violent marriage and the years she spent trying to escape from her ex-husband are not always pleasant, but they will help listeners gain true insight into the frightening realities of abusive relationships. Her rescue training and adventures offer a genuinely fascinating look at an unusual career/avocation. The author’s reading is beautiful and expressive. Her personal commentary at the recording’s end is interesting and obviously not scripted. Recommended for libraries that support community programs against family violence. This also will appeal to women and women’s groups as well as natural history collections. Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Lib., Salinas, Cal. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. (This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.)”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Tough-minded, profoundly moving . . . gripping. . . . But what makes Point Last Seen so riveting is Nyala’s story behind the job she does so well.”

Chicago Tribune

“She reached out, in the most terrible times of her life, to help find other people’s lost children . . . even while her own children were still lost to her. . . . In this poetic, beautifully written memoir [Nyala] tells her tale of domestic abuse, stalking, and kidnapping without an ounce of self-pity.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard

“That rarest of birds: A memoir truly worth the telling and an adventure worthy of the name. Unflinching in her observation, Hannah Nyala follows the track of the truth—her own and ours.”

(Bestselling author of The Theory of Relativity and Twelve Times Blessed)

A highly recommended read (Amazon), April 11, 1998

Reviewer: A reader from Ithaca, New York
I read this book in one sitting, my heart in my throat, anxious to know if everything would turn out all right. The author has done a masterful job of constructing the narrative in such a way that you are constantly picking up her tracks, following them for a bit, losing them only to pick them up at a later date or place. Her prose is deeply moving without being overwrought. Some will be disappointed that there is not more here: there was clearly more story that could have been told. Yet in keeping with the central metaphor of the book, Nyala’s story must be reconstructed by the reader based on the tracks she has left behind.