The Great Escape
A Family Moves into the Wilderness

A family's radical decision to step away from life as they knew it.

Andrea Hejlskov is certain: life cannot continue this way. Both she and her husband don't see the point in their jobs, the children spend too much time in their bedrooms with their computers and proper conversations hardly take place anymore. One thing is clear: This is not the life that they wanted to live. On a quest to find out what really counts in life, they decide to fundamentally change everything. Their aim is to head out into nature, leaving civilisation behind with all its demands and limits. When an offer comes up to take on a cottage in the Swedish forest, their dreams become reality. First though, the family needs to learn the fundamental requirements of daily life in the forest: how to cut wood, build a log cabin, cook outdoors and what to do when someone is injured or gets sick. Some obstacles are easier to overcome, at other times the Hejlskovs consider giving up. And sometimes the adventures are simply great fun.

Danish author Andrea Hejlskov relates with remarkable honesty her radical decision to step away from life as she knew it and pursue a future in the outdoors and the unknown. This is the story of a family that changes its life radically and comes together in a new way.


»With this book you learn how family functions, what being close to each other really means. Colorfully written, highly readable you find yourself thinking: Do I really need to shower every day? Do I need this fast car, this big TV, the latest phone? What I need is an axe for survival. And love and solidarity to my fellow humans.«
hr2 Kultur

»A story about new challenges and reconnecting to oneself.«

»Andrea Hejlskov does not just write beautifully but also relentlessly and thrillingly about her old and new life - you can't put this book down.«
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

»This is real life, this really happens and it happens today. A story about the times we live in.«
Barara Stephensen, Danmarks Radio 2

»Happily, this is not the romanticised story of someone who leaves everything behind and it is also not a manifest of the enlightened. Instead, it is the complex description of the emotional dynamics of a not so regular family.«

»Not everyone can move to a forest, but everyoneshould read this book. 5 out of 5 stars!«

»Andrea Hejlskov risks a lot. She tells her storyopenly and reveals her most intimate thoughts (...) It is the life of an authenticwoman with real problems.«

Original Language

German, mairisch

Further Editions

paperback - btb

Available Material

German pdf
English translation (draft)


on behalf of mairisch
World excl. Dutch, German, Portuguese, Spanish

Rights Sold

  • Caitlin Press
  • Czech Republic Portál
  • Netherlands Ambo|Anthos
  • Spain Volcano Libros

© Courtesy of the author

Andrea Hejlskov

is a Danish author and journalist living in the wild woods of Sweden, off grid. Since more than six years she lives with her husband and four children in the forest in Southern Sweden. Born in 1975 Andrea Hejlskov studied pyschology in Copenhagen, where she worked as a teacher. She was also managing director of a coaching agency and worked as a consultant. Andrea Hejlskov is the author of a children's book and holds engaging talks on the impacts of life-changing decisions.