One could easily be forgiven for believing that all is not well in our world.  Take a good look around you.  People are hustling and bustling to get from Point A to Point B with downcast eyes and an air of obvious indifference toward others.  Stories of injustice, terror and suffering are plastered across the headlines of virtually any news media which you may come across.  Bombastic leaders hope to boost their popularity by driving wedges between the masses.  And in the midst of all this chaos and confusion is you… lost, confused and feeling very much alone.  Not a very uplifting picture to put it mildly.  However, what if you were to discover that you are not actually alone as you thought?  That there has always been someone in your corner patiently waiting for you to find them.  A higher purpose which validates the endless challenges you have encountered.  In his Memoir, Wild, Willful Heart, author W. Boone Hedgepeth may provide just the medicine you seek- and it does not come in the form of a pill!

Essentially, the book is an autobiographical journey which chronicles the author’s lifelong journey to find peace, fulfillment and purpose.  Being granted exclusive ingress to the author’s various thoughts, actions and experiences, the reader is able to follow this journey with considerable appreciation and understanding.  Basically following a chronological order for the most part, the recollection contains many ups and downs which are typically experienced in the lives of various individuals which we will find in any walk of life.  From failed relationships, ongoing work strife and battling mental health conditions such as depression.  However, there is something more at play here.    The quest to find the overall answer to life’s overall purpose and meaning overrides everything else in the work.  From Mormonism to active vision quests, it is all explored and questioned.  What lies on the other end of such queries may very well be contained within these fascinating and mystical pages.

Make no mistake, the topics contained within this book are in no way “light”.  There is pain, anguish and suffering.  Be that as it may, there is also enlightenment and hope.  The author does a wonderful job in balancing everything with his gifted storytelling ability which is infused with harsh experiences, vivid description and a wry sense of humor.  He has the uncanny ability to know exactly when to insert the required element.  The entire Memoir feels very much like an exciting story which is saturated with drama and suspense.  The fact that this is indeed a very real account, and no mere work of fiction,  makes it all that much more enthralling.

There are many great things to enjoy in this book.  For me personally however, I felt as if it was personally speaking to me.  Many questions I have struggled with were echoed within the pages.  For instance, the need to recognize and not overlook subtle signs in life was particularly poignant.  We are always quick to attribute such signals as coincidental instead of perceiving them as a possible message.  This in turn may mean missing out on something much greater.  Also, the need to stand up for a belief system and not simply choose the path of least resistance is key.  As the author clearly illustrates, this road will be difficult and full of obstacles… but in the end it will be oh so much more rewarding!  Be brave.

I have found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable read which I would recommend to all adult readers.  Do not go into this expecting a typical Memoir however.  Indeed, it offers so much more.

5 out of 5 Enlightening Stars for this one!