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Some New Crushes

The Sunday Salon.com

Advance Reader’s Copy
Publication: March 1, 2009
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Told with great tenderness, My Abandonment is the story of 13-year-old Caroline and her father who have lived for four years on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, in a forested park. To avoid attention, which might risk their being discovered by the police, they have moved thrice and wear camouflage clothing. It’s a strange novel (based on a true story) that reads like an allegory.

“Our house is like a cave dug out with the roof made of branches and wire and metal with tarp and plastic on top of that and then the earth where everything is growing. Only Father and I see it’s a home.” [12]

Tuesday in Silhouette has posted a very thoughtful review of A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, a what she calls a very Austenian book that reflects on the cold brutality of relationship in life. So can love and happiness really go together? Or what if your love for someone can’t translate into a lifelong bondage? Another one that catches my attention is Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. This National Book Award-winning novel, set in final days of the Civil War, tells two parallel stories: that of Inman, a wounded soldier who is engaged in a Homeric journey to get back to his love Ada; and that of Ada, who is struggling to maintain her farm. The strength of this novel is Frazier’s prose, which recreates a time, place, and mood like few other novels set in the past.

11 Responses

  1. Both “My Abandonment” and “The Little Giant,,,” sound like good reads. Out of the two, which do you recommend more?

  2. I loved Cold Mountain. I read it a short while back. I also like Vikram Seth.

  3. I’d love to read ‘My Abandonment’. I’m intrigued that it is based on a true story. Thanks for telling about it. I’ve heard ‘The Little Giant’ is very good as well. Enjoy your Sunday!

  4. chartroose:
    By far I would recommend The Little Giant. I have mixed feelings about My Abandonment as I’m about 10 pages from the end. I don’t think the book is easy to like. It’s a bit weird and strange.

  5. gautami:
    I must have read your review of Cold Mountain, which piques my interest. I cannot believe I have slipped by the book, which I have always seen or run into at the bookstore! Thanks for the push! 🙂

  6. Lisa:
    The writing is crisp and tender, but I cannot bring myself to like My Abandonment very much. I do not sympathize with the girl in the novel. Hmmm…..I would recommend reading The Little Giant first.

  7. Thanks, Matt–
    “The Little Giant…” will go on my TBR list and I’ll skip “My Abandonment.” Later, dude!

  8. chartroose:
    Happy reading! 🙂

  9. I hadn’t heard about My Abandonment. I lived outside of Portland when the father and his daughter were found in one of the largest and most used parks in the area. Everyone was captivated by their story. A farmer in a nearby town offered them a quiet place to stay as they tried to get their life to what we would consider as “normal.” But the constant barrage of media, the helicopters flying over the farm – the father couldn’t take it and one night he disappeared again with his daughter. I think many of still think of them and wondered how they are doing and wish them well. I’m curious how the story deals with the “end” of their story.

  10. Stacey:
    What you have shared is pretty much the skeleton of the novel! Thanks for the info. The blurb informs us that it’s based on a true story. Thew ending could be imaginary but I have mixed feelings about how Peter Rock handles the story. I just finished the review and will post it tomorrow the latest.

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