Home > contemporary, Genre, Length - average but on the shorter side > Book Review: My Abandonment by Peter Rock

Book Review: My Abandonment by Peter Rock

Toy horse on forest floor.Summary:
Thirteen-year-old Caroline lives in Forest Park with her father.  They have to be very quiet and careful because regular folk don’t understand why they want to live like they do.  They even have to keep away from the other men that live in the park too.  Caroline doesn’t mind this way of life.  In fact, she prefers it.  She likes being out in nature and learning everything she can from her father and from encyclopedias and library books.  She even doesn’t mind fasting on Fridays.  You get used to it.  One day though, she makes a mistake.  Will it change her and her father’s way of life forever?

What makes this book is the surprise, which I refuse to give away in my review.  At first, I admit, I was a bit bored with the story.  It felt like a less-interesting version of Room, only with a boy instead of a girl and the pair living set off from society willfully.  When the twist came I was frankly shocked, and it set my mind reeling about the whole story.  To this moment I cannot stop thinking and re-thinking about Caroline’s life.  How her raising affected her and whether or not this is a bad thing.

I do think that Rock takes a bit too long to reveal the twist.  I was losing patience for a solid while before it came around.  Perhaps more clues should have been dropped earlier on or something to keep the reader guessing that perhaps not everything is as it seems in Caroline’s life.  Additionally, the writing style in the first few chapters is an odd mix of intelligent and irritatingly simple.  It is Caroline speaking, but she’s also an intelligent 13.  This whole facade is dropped within a few chapters, so I see no reason to start the book out in that manner.  It was a bit off-putting.

Overall, however, it does turn out to be a unique story.  More importantly, it leaves the reader questioning what she thinks she knows about the world and alternative ways of living.  I recommend it to fans of contemporary literature featuring a twist.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Length: 225 pages – average but on the shorter side

Source: Purchased

Buy It (Amazon or Bookshop.org)

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