Lisa's Reviews > My Abandonment

My Abandonment by Peter Rock
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's review
Jun 03, 2012

liked it
Read in February, 2012 — I own a copy

I'm ultimately undecided about this book. I picked it up because I remembered the true story the first part of the book is drawn from, and because it was "recommended" at Powell's and I was looking for a few impulse buys. The story is engaging, though the writing is far from masterful. As the story moves beyond its basis in what is known about the family who lived in Forest Park, after their actual disappearance (not that the early part of the story seems like anything but fiction-inspired-by...), and ultimately devolves into tragedy, our characters' detachment from the world becomes increasing detachment from events and emotions in a way that was hard for me, as the reader, to remain connected to when our characters were so detached. The climax seemed remarkably abrupt, and the way it played out from there disappointed me in its (still detached) idealism.

I've read reviews suggesting that, toward the end of the book, the characters act in a way that is out of character. I don't necessarily agree. I think the girl, our main character, becomes more like her father; and I think the father's behavior is something we finally see for what it is, mental illness masquerading as competence to a young girl who should idealize her parent figure, and when tragedy happens, our young narrator sees her parent differently and more realistically, and gives us a different view.
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