The Bear: A Novel by Claire Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Anna awakens one night, while camping, to hear her mother screaming. Confused and afraid, Anna and her brother Stick, unknowingly listen as their parents are killed in a bear attack. The two young children leave the island by canoe in the morning spending two days lost in the woods, searching for their parents.
Narrated by six year old Anna, this novel offered a unique perspective on survival and the world according to young children. The first portion of the book, which covers the attack, started off strong. Anna provides a strong background for the family camping trip and excellent descriptions of the events occurring outside the coleman cooler where her and her brother are hiding. Once the children leave the island, the narration becomes more inconsistent, with Anna frequently going off on tangents which muddled the story and made it hard to follow. It was tough to get through this section, but persevere because the ending of this novel is its strong point. The conclusion left me in tears and and boosted my rating to four stars,
The Bear is based on a real bear attack in 1991, which occurred while the author was working as a camp counselor nearby. This gives the story some authenticity and makes it all the more compelling. I highly recommend this unique and compelling story.
I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
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