• Amazon Woman

  • Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and My Quest to Kayak the Largest River from Source to Sea
  • By: Darcy Gaechter
  • Narrated by: Laura Jennings
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Part memoir, part feminist manifesto, this narrative shows what incredible feats we are capable of and will encourage people, especially women, across all backgrounds and ages to find the courage and strength to live the life they’ve imagined.

This 148-day journey began on Darcy Gaechter’s 35th birthday. She sold her successful outdoor adventure business, upsetting her partner and boyfriend of 12 years and getting them both fired in the process. The emotional waters that would fester and erupt on the ensuing journey were often more challenging to navigate than the mighty river itself. With blistering lips and irradiated fingernails, Darcy would tackle raging Class Five whitewater for 25 days straight, barely surviving a dynamite-filled canyon being prepared for a new hydroelectric plant. She and her two companions would encounter illegal loggers, narco-traffickers, murderous Shining Path rebels, and ruthless poachers in the black-market trade in endangered species. They would plead for mercy at the hands of the murderous Ashaninka people who were convinced that they had come to steal their children’s organs.

In a desperate attempt meant to give her some pretense of control, Darcy even cut off all her hair before entering Peru’s notoriously dangerous “Red Zone” in hopes of passing for a boy and being seen as less of a target. At once a heart-pounding adventure and a celebration of pushing personal limits, Amazon Woman speaks to all of us feeling trapped by our desk-bound, online society. This a story of finding the courage and strength to challenge nature, cultures, social norms, and oneself.

©2020 Darcy Gaechter (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Amazon Woman

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Excellent story telling

She did a great job, it was a joy to listen to. Would love to listen to more books by Darcy Gaechter

9 people found this helpful

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More than just an adventure book...

There are many facets to this book beyond kayaking, beyond adventure travel, and beyond the now well worn “human spirit triumphs over a seemingly impossible challenge”. While all of those are present and enjoyable here, Darcy reflects on more personal and in many ways more universal questions and issues. The challenges faced by women athletes, the difficulties of relationships and interpersonal dynamics in difficult times, and my personal favorite “What the hell am I doing with my life?” While Darcy chose a very different path in life than I have, many of the questions remain the same. While very few of us can imagine what it’s like to paddle 148 days down the Amazon almost everyone can relate to the agonizing dilemma of trying to choose between something you love and what society / family / and “better judgement” say we should do. It’s this deeper theme that made this book special for me, maybe it’s a different theme for you, there are several good ones to choose from in there.

Additionally, killer job by the narrator! She translates the emotions of the text incredibly well. You can hear the tension, fear, and exhaustion in her voice.

8 people found this helpful

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Get ready for an amazing adventure!!!

Even if you don’t whitewater kayak you will enjoy this story from an amazing woman, kayaker and adventurer.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing Amazon Woman

Most excellent book. Quite a feat, physically, mentally, emotionally to kayak the Amazon source to sea. Amazing! I could not stop listening.

7 people found this helpful

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Great Book for Everyone

Incredible story. I'm not a kayaker, and couldn't stop listening. The narrator wasn't my favorite, but the story is so well written and compelling that I couldn't stop listening. This is an adventure story, but a story of self acceptance. I loved it.

7 people found this helpful

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Wow

A brutally honest account of an woman struggling to put her life in order. A least an order that other people expect of one another. The adventure helps her order her life in a way that satisfies her.
No physical challenge can stop her once she learns about herself.
A fantastic read.

6 people found this helpful

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Diminuitive Darcy and the largest river on earth!

Truth be told, I've been a friend and client of Darcy's company Small World Adventures. What I loved about this tale is how Darcy's voice comes across in the telling. This isn't a floral description of the jungle and philosophical metaphor of life - it's a 5'4", 120 pound Vegan woman telling it like it is. Don't judge by the cover - inside is a powerful woman encountering this world, and then talking straight.

Darcy shares her insights - served straight up. When she, or her boyfriend or companion Midge is being an a-hole, expect Darcy to explain that. When her own limitations pop up - still she shares the truth. When she has to make life and death decisions - she makes them and shares with us the 2-3 second decisions that reveal a river life - decisions that have consequences, a river world where Mommy and Daddy aren't coming to save you. If you drop your kayak in the amazon and your life floats away - there's no laughing it off. Either catch that boat or starve!

Great story, well told. Not a book for drifting off to sleep at night - this is an intense adventure. A new favorite!

2 people found this helpful

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Great story of adventure and exploration!

The book was great and I loved learning about some of the history of the Amazon river basin and its people. The first chapters were really gripping and I loved experiencing the whitewater sections of the river through the storyteller's voice.

2 people found this helpful

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Enthralling

Darcy is truly the epitome of what it means to take one's life into her own hands and live it in a way that speaks true to her soul, no matter the societal norms she must defy while doing so. The internal struggles she relayed to us were shockingly relatable, and her way of describing them were raw and real. Especially when admitting to the inherent privilege of said struggles, and how difficult and consuming they were nonetheless. Darcy wrote a beautiful blend of her personal journey, the journey of those she was with, as well as the history, context and experiences of those she met along the way.. Laura did a fantastic job with narrating, making the already inspiring novel impossible to stop listening to.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!!!

This is a must read for anyone who wants to learn some excellent life lessons on how to Persevere and not give up, when practically everything and everyone is telling you to give up.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 04-11-20

100% Recommend

Not only a great account of a truely awe-inspiring adventure but a truthful insight into the mental challenges this kind of trip involves. Thank you for your honesty Darcy.

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