The Wild Truth
By Carine McCandless
“The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety.” —NPR.org
In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer’s iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn’s acclaimed film of the same name.
And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris’s unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth, his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own.
Exposing the dark reality that existed behind the McCandless’s seemingly idyllic home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Carine details a violent home life, one where both parents manipulated the truth about a second family – a deception that pushed Chris over the edge and set the stage for his willing departure into the wild. And though he cut off all family ties, Carine understood – through their indelible bond and some cryptic communication – what Chris was seeking.
This understanding, kept under wraps for years as Carine struggled to maintain a relationship with her parents, now comes to spectacular light in the pages of The Wild Truth. In the decades since Chris’s death, Carine and her half-siblings have come together to find their own truth and build their own beauty in his absence. In each other, they’ve found absolution, just as Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.
Beautiful and haunting, told with candor and heartbreaking insight, The Wild Truth presents a man the world only thought they knew – and the sister who has finally found redemption in sharing the rest of their story.