My Abandonment

My Abandonment

Book - 2018
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Thirteen-year-old Caroline and her father live in Forest Park, an enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. Day to day, they live in an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water's edge, tend a garden and even keep a library of sorts. Once a week they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilised world. But one small mistake allows a jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence. Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a gripping journey into life in the wilderness and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.
Publisher: London :, John Murray Publishers Ltd,, [2018]
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 225 pages ;,20 cm.


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Apr 10, 2019

I looked for this book after reading that the movie "Leave No Trace" was adapted from it. So I saw the movie first, loved it, then read the book just to see how they were similar and how they differed. This is one of those rare cases when the resulting works share many of the same details and emotional atmosphere, and yet couldn't be more different as far as what the author and director want to say. Both follow the same compelling story until about three quarters of the way through the book, where they couldn't be more different. The film takes a humanistic turn, while the book takes a darkly gothic turn. Both are hauntingly effective, but belie their creators' wildly different worldviews. I'm in awe of Debra Granik's film adaptation, but also of Peter Rock's ability to convincingly inhabit the thirteen year-old narrator in present-tense. Horrifying events unfold in her limited vocabulary, and there's a tension between trying to grasp what she's relaying and how that comes together in the reader's mind. In this way, Rock displays amazing narrative control. I recommend both the book and the movie, but for very different reasons.

Jan 05, 2019

Kind of a strange one for me. It was following the movie and then BAM off it went in a totally different direction or actually, the movie is the one that went in a different direction since the book came first. I guess I liked it but would love to have found out more about why Father led them into that lifestyle. Obviously he had some mental issues but why? I only know the basics of the true story but since this was "based" on that story, maybe Mr. Rock could write a follow-up about Caroline or maybe even a prequel about Father. Worth the time to read I guess.

Oct 16, 2018

If you picked up this book after seeing the movie Leave No Trace, which is based on it, as I did, you were probably surprised at the divergence of the story. The endings of the book and the movie are totally opposite. It was a great little movie with a comfortable ending. The book provoked more thought and required more willingness to think outside the box. I wondered about the title, My Abandonment. The question is--is the character being abandoned or doing the abandoning? And, what is being abandoned? Plenty of room for thought here.

Oct 03, 2018

I love books based on fact. A very eye opening view of homelessness. Narated by a 13 year old girl, I don't know where the male author found his inspiration but it was fascinating. Made me want to know more about the history of the father. Would also like to read a sequel.

Sep 03, 2018

Most Portlanders will remember the story that surfaced in the early 00s of a father and daughter living in Forest Park, which, if you're not from the city, is a large wooded park with hiking and biking trails. It's a fascinating story, and I was really looking forward to reading novelist and Reed professor Peter Rock's "My Abandonment," which was recently turned into the film "Leave No Trace." However, I was disappointed that it wasn't non-fiction, but, rather, inspired by the story. It seems a little like cheating, you know? And there was something problematic for me about an older male author appropriating their story and writing in the voice of a 13 year old girl. Worth reading, but, again, the true story is so compelling, why not just tell it? Also, "The Stranger in the Woods" and "Lean on Pete."

Jun 24, 2018

Soon to be a movie called Leave No Trace. That's how I discovered this wonderful book. All the blurbs below perfectly describe the narrative. The adjectives: disturbing, touching. Read in one sitting as I did. Everything is not exactly what it seems to be. The novel is based on a true story. Really liked this lots.

Jul 26, 2016

Different, the narrative swings to places one doesn't expect. Well-written and from a unique perspective.

May 30, 2016

Interesting , different , compelling , deep little novel . The jacket says it's based on true happenings . This story keeps you enthralled with wondering what's going to happen next to the girl and her father . Had a definite twist towards the end I never saw coming . Would be terrific if Author would write a sequel to this novel .

Sep 08, 2012

I read this book in one day...compelling story of a girl and her father, fighting for their preferred way of life in the face of the demands of social, and legal, norms. Melancholy and speculative.

thart Oct 19, 2011

Read for book club (4/2011). I liked the book but it is not a happy-go-lucky read. You feel bad for her living conditions yet can see positive things that her life has at the same time, essentially homeless in a forest area/park. Some disturbing things definitely happen in the novel and it had a twist I was not expecting because I did not know it was based off a true story when I read it (found out when we discussed it). Frightens any parent to the core.

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