Leah's Reviews > My Abandonment

My Abandonment by Peter Rock
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Jan 10, 11

Read from January 08 to 09, 2011, read count: 1

Once in a while, I'll read something so compelling, so fascinating, that I find myself consumed by the characters, wanting to know more than what is revealed by the author. I notice that I'm actively reading, rather than passively letting the words slip in and out of my consciousness. My eyebrows are raised, I'm leaning in as if to hear a little better, and even once in a while whispering out loud, as if the characters could hear my sympathetic murmers as they struggle against whatever obstacles they are facing. Peter Rock's My Abandonment is such a book.

Told from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old girl, My Abandonment is the story of Caroline and her father, who live "off the grid" in a nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. The nameless "Father" has built a life for the two of them in an elaborate shelter with extensive systems and routines to avoid detection. Caroline is well cared for, educated by her father out of a set of Britannica Encyclopedias. They are fiercely loyal to one another, seperating the rest of the world into people who are not "like us". When a small mistake is made, they are discovered, and forced to leave the existence they have carved out for something more acceptable in the eyes of the world.

The book is based on the true story of Frank and Ruthie, who were discovered living in Forest Park in 2005. While the story of Frank and Ruthie has never been resolved, Peter Rock takes the tale to a conclusion that is both believable and memorable, disturbing and thought provoking.
My thanks to Nicoal on Goodreads for providing the links to the story of Frank and Ruthie.
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