Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Abandonment - Peter Rock

One of the nice things about having Griff here this summer is I have had more time to actually read some of the books I missed when they were originally released. One title that had intrigued me when it came out last March was My Abandonment by Peter Rock. It is a short novel, written by a creative writing professor, and as I read it I had the feeling I was reading a science fiction novel about some dystopic society except that the story is set in the northwest of 1994 and is based on a true story as Rock explains in this video.

Rock writes the story from the perspective of the 13 year-old Caroline and I have read some criticism of the novel because it leaves the reader with more questions than answers. But to me this is what make the novel even more believable and haunting -- Caroline does not know where the truth lies behind her experiences and so as readers neither do we.

I highly recommend this little book. It is tragic yet in the end hopeful. It speaks to the resilience, strength and wisdom which many children possess but also recognizes their vulnerability. It reminds us of those who are forced to live outside the fringes of acceptable society because of poverty, mental illness or any number of other reasons.

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