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Reviewed by Lois Henderson for Readers' Favorite
The personal story of a woman’s coverage of the second Gobi Desert Cup as a media coordinator and consultant, Girl Forward: A Tale of One Woman’s Unlikely Adventure in Mongolia reveals how Heather Wallace, American mother of three, bravely set out to conquer her own self-doubts and trepidation through blogging and photographing the race held in 2018. Much of the work is about Wallace’s own past leading up to the race, and her review of what the entire experience meant for her. Wallace’s involvement in the 480-kilometer international endurance race is described from start to finish, including the preparations that she had to make, her overview of the race itself, and the effect that participating as an official in the race has had on her in the long term.
Heather Wallace’s love of animals, especially horses, is clearly shown throughout Girl Forward: A Tale of One Woman’s Unlikely Adventure in Mongolia, with her enthusiasm for the Mongolian breed being contagious. The hazards of the adventure and the difficulties (including the security screening problems at Beijing Airport) encountered in reaching and returning from the destination (Ulaanbaatar) should sound familiar to many a seasoned traveler. Despite my own ineptitude as a photographer, I found that I could empathize with the concerns expressed by Wallace as she tried to protect her photographic equipment from damage as the officials were jounced along the terrible roads in converted Russian trucks. Although the only drawback of Girl Forward for me was the lack of photographs in the text, these images are available on Facebook and other websites. I found this story so interesting! A must-read for travel and adventure fans.