Michelle Renee

Nine Days

Nine Days: Living With My Soul Wide Open After Violent Trauma(Memoir)

Live With Your Soul Wide Open

NINE DAYS: Living with My Soul Wide Open after Violent Trauma (June 2023) is a memoir by Michelle Renee, whose first book, Held Hostage, was made into a Lifetime movie. Nine Days picks up where Held Hostage left off and chronicles a single mother’s 4,200-mile solo road trip up the coast of California and into the rugged terrain of the Alaskan wilderness. Surviving on little money or food, Michelle braves the elements and confronts her turbulent past on her way to return to her daughter and prepare to come face to face with one of their kidnappers… again. 

Like the highly successful work ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed which was adapted for film 10 years ago, Nine Days is a story of guts, grit, and determination that depicts the torment and triumph of forging ahead against all odds on the road that terrifies, challenges, and ultimately sets her free.


The sun had long set on the beachside landscape. Headlights were casting long shadows across the cracked asphalt as a cool breeze whispered through an abandoned gas station. I squinted my eyes and leaned in toward the steering wheel. My eyes were getting heavy and I needed a place to crash. 

The faded arrow was pointing to a campground just off the highway. Taking a deep breath, I repositioned my hands on the worn steering wheel, my hands trembling with a mixture of anticipation and fear. This would be my first stop on my 4200-mile journey—a solo road trip to heal the wounds of my traumatic past.

My mind wandered back to the moment that had shattered our existence—the event that had driven me to embark on this solitary quest for solace and return to my daughter. I had nine days to get there.  The weight of grief pressed against my chest, but I refused to let it suffocate me any longer. This journey would be my way of reclaiming control, of finding myself amidst the chaos.

I entered the campground and inched toward the security check-in point.  I looked over at Haley, my four-legged companion, and drove past the sign that read “Campground Full” determined to somehow rebuild my shattered life, piece by piece. Mile by mile.