Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Abandonment by Peter Rock

My Abandonment
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The novel is about a girl who lives in a state park with her father. They live in the wilderness, shying away from society and surviving in nature. The father, who fought at "a war" shows classic signs of post traumatic stress disorder: nightmares of helicopters, paranoia, aversion to society. It is clear that the father is trying to protect Caroline from the outside world, which he views as menacing, never realizing the harm he is causing by keeping her away and inculcating his own sense of paranoia in her.

Then, the outside world comes bursting in and they try to rescue Caroline. They offer them an opportunity to live at a farm house, attend school and work at a farmer's house. Reluctantly, they take it. The novel then revolves about the father's plans trying to get back to their old life.

I had to take a few days to think about this book before writing the review. On the one hand, it was an interesting story that was never fully explored. There were a lot of things that were left in the air at the end, never truly explained. I think the author never truly grasped the teenager's voice. He made her sound androgynous most of the time, even though he tried to explain how she was becoming aware of her body. Her narration was simple, and even lyrical. It said things in a matter of fact way, whilst at the same time, working things out.

It was a good book, an interesting thing. I think the narrator never really developed her own voice and it was the author who pushed through. 

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