The Adventurer’s Son: A Memoir by Roman Dial (Review by Missi Gwartney)

2 min read

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

“…so it should be difficult to get lost forever.”

These were the last words that Roman Dial received from his son and while they turned out to be true the story behind them is a heart-wrenching memoir that intertwines family spirit, grief, love, loss, and self-doubt with a passion for nature, adventure, wilderness, and the never ending emotional roller coaster of being a parent.
In Roman Dial’s memoir, The Adventurer’s Son, he recounts not only his personal experiences but also how his passion for adventure was embodied in his son, Cody. No stranger to tough (and maybe even a little crazy to a person like me) circumstances along with his vast knowledge and experience, no one thought twice as Cody’s Costa Rican jungle adventure began. However, when Cody isn’t heard from by his “out date”, it leads his father on the greatest “adventure” of his life. Recounting everything he can remember, the search for not only Cody, but also answers takes Roman on a two-year journey that seems never ending and at times leaves him doubting what he thought he knew about his son.

While I am not usually a huge fan of memoirs, when I read the description of this book I couldn’t wait to get it. I felt like I was living vicariously through the author’s descriptions of not only the amazing surroundings but also the true fear he felt when something went wrong. This book is so full of details, pictures, people, places and maps that it can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, having a map or picture to look back at was so helpful and made the characters even more real. If you like memoirs and adventure, I’d definitely recommend this book but even if you don’t I think you may be surprised that you can get so caught up in a story that may not be “your thing”.

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