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Publisher's Summary

A young woman follows winter across five continents on a physical and spiritual journey that tests her body and soul in this transformative memoir, full of heart and courage, that speaks to the adventurousness in all of us.

Steph Jagger had always been a force of nature. Dissatisfied with the passive, limited roles she saw for women growing up, she emulated the men in her life - chasing success, climbing the corporate ladder, ticking the boxes, playing by the rules of a masculine ideal. She was accomplished. She was living "The Dream". But it wasn't her dream.

Then the universe caught her attention with a sign: Raise Restraining Device. Steph had seen this ski lift sign on countless occasions in the past, but the familiar words suddenly became a personal call to shake off the life she had built in a search for something different, something more.

Steph soon decided to walk away from the success and security she had worked long and hard to obtain. She quit her job, took a second mortgage on her house, sold everything except her ski equipment and her laptop, and bought a bundle of plane tickets. For the next year, she followed winter across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand - and up and down the mountains of nine countries - on a mission to ski four million vertical feet in a year.

What hiking was for Cheryl Strayed, skiing became for Steph: a crucible in which to crack open her life and get to the very center of herself. But she would have to break herself down - first physically, then emotionally - before she could start to rebuild. And it was through this journey that she came to understand how to be a woman, how to love, and how to live authentically.

Electrifying, heartfelt, and full of humor, Unbound is Steph's story - an odyssey of courage and self-discovery that, like Wild and Eat, Pray, Love, will inspire listeners to remove their own restraining devices and pursue the lives they are meant to lead.

©2017 Steph Jagger (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Jennifer
  • minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 02-25-17

Loved it

As a person who spent my early twenties backpacking across the world I really connected with this book. It reminded me of those magical days and in ways it made me long for them and in other ways not at all. I loved Steph Jagger's story and simply found it inspiring, it made me want to set out on an adventure and that's awesome. This particular quote really resonated with me, "...what if we spent as much time glorifying starting lines as we do finish lines, I wondered? What if we cheered as loudly for people the moment they assumed their position in the starting blocks as we do when they run through the tape at the end of the race...". Yes Ms. Jagger, 'what if?'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed

I was excited to listen to this on a cross country road trip to snowboard and ski with my wife. However, the story focused on the author's internal struggle more than her skiing adventure. She rambled on about her inner emotions and it was very repetitive. What her struggle consisted of was unclear. She used way too many metaphors. It reminded me of when I need to write a paper in school, but filledit with superfluous crap just to meet the professor's length requirements.

On a positive note, the author's mention of kicking horse reminded us to buy our Banff tickets.

More skiing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Surprisingly Awesome

Why surprising? I didn't expect a young adults story to resonate so much with a 51-year-old. But it did. And absolutely great adventure story, with a personal story of transformation wrapped into it.

When she talks about trying to be a ram to fit in with a family of boys, there's a lot of truth, in that many of our first women trailblazers had to do the same. Talk like a man, work like a man, etc. and so forth.

The writing it's self was very good, with some 'like a pebble on the beach' similes, but not too many. It seems like too many is the norm these days. The narration was absolutely fabulous and fitting.

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  • Sara
  • Brooklyn, OH
  • 04-04-17

Not the usual "self-help, discovering myself" book

I really loved this book. I'll admit that I'm a sucker for self-help or books that require one to look deep within themselves. And although this book was that, it was also so much more. Steph Jagger is a great storyteller and made it seem as though I was on this adventure to the mountains with her. I love the love story that blossoms as well.

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A good account of one woman's journey

What did you love best about Unbound?

I listened to the audiobook and it was quite an impressive feat to cover that much ground in one year of skiing. It was nice to follow the journey and see how it shaped Steph as a person.

What other book might you compare Unbound to and why?

It's kind of like Wild but with colder weather.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed hearing about her discovering who she was and how she wanted to approach her relationship with Chris during a time she was going through so much change herself and seeing how he accepted all the parts of her.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No but I did listen to it most days. It was an interesting read.

Any additional comments?

A good account of self discovery and remarkable achievement. Not sure I fully understood why Steph needed to start again to begin with or really how she ended up achieving a re-start but it was nice to see what she discovered about herself during her challenging journey and to see her reach her skiing goals.