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My Abandonment

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My Abandonment Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2010 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Based on a true story, My Abandonment is a riveting, unforgettable novel about what it's like to live just beyond the fringes of what we call civilization. Rock finds the tender truth of the 13-year-old protagonist, and the reader can't help but be inspired.
Recommended by Hank, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A riveting and unsettling novel about a girl and her father who live off the grid, in the shadows at the edge of civilization. A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, the enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. They inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water's edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts.

Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries, attend church, and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight.

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild and Elizabeth Gilbert's Last American Man, Peter Rock's My Abandonment, inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of his young protagonist, Caroline, is an eerie and mesmerizing book of survival and hope, and a completely original novel of a remarkable and triumphant transformation.

Review:

"The engaging but limited perspective of 13-year-old Caroline, 'the hillbilly girl that lived in the park,' reveals a highly circumscribed world. When first met, Caroline and Father are scavenging for materials to make a shelter in the 'forest park' outside of Portland, Ore., where they seem to be hiding out. They make cautious trips into the city to the supermarket and the library, but a lapse by Caroline brings police attention, and they are taken into custody. Jean Bauer, whose profession is unclear, helps Father secure employment and brings pots and pans and school clothes for Caroline. Who are these two? Caroline walks 'past posters with my face on them, my old name, and no one sees me.' Father says: 'If I weren't your father... how could I have walked right into your backyard and walked away with you and no one said a word?' This is a tale of survival, of love and attachment, of mystery and alienation. It is an utterly entrancing book, a bow to Thoreau and a nod to the detective story. Every step of this narrative, despite providing more questions than answers, rings true." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A moving evocation of life on the fringes, sparking many questions about our regulated society." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[D]eeply unsettling and finely wrought....My Abandonment is a haunting novel, masterfully told." Booklist

Review:

"Peter Rock's My Abandonment is an electrically charged, bone-deep and tender tale of loss and partial redemption. Surreal, haunting, elegiac." James Ellroy

Review:

"This beautiful, strange novel takes us into the foreign country where those called homeless are at home, the city is wilderness, and the greater wilderness lies beyond. Fascinating and moving, it tells with great tenderness how human love goes wrong." Ursula K. Le Guin

Review:

"Rock's insight into his characters' worries and hopes propels the story to its emotional conclusion. A compelling read..." Library Journal

Synopsis:

A riveting and unsettling novel about a girl and her father who live off the grid, in the shadows at the edge of civilization.

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, Rock's My Abandonment, inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of his young protagonist, offers a riveting and unsettling account of a girl and her father who live off the grid.

Video

About the Author

Inspired by the discovery of a man and his twelve-year-old daughter found living in a sophisticated camp hidden deep in Portland's Forest Park, Pter Rock wrote My Abandonment to imagine the rest of their story. The author of four other novels, most recently The Bewildered, and a collection of stories, The Unsettling, Rock teaches writing at Reed College.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

ElliePie, December 20, 2010 (view all comments by ElliePie)
“My Abandonment” is an addictive, surprising and stark book. The earnest voice of the young narrator felt genuine, even as her life felt genuinely strange. The reader is constantly asking questions, some of which never really get answered. Even as I wondered about the relationship between Caroline and Father, even as I wondered where she came from, and wondered what was happening in Father’s head, I was amazed by the ingenuity they both showed. For sure, Caroline will stick with me for some time.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Tish Yew, January 6, 2010 (view all comments by Tish Yew)
Vignettes in the day in the life of a homeless girl and her father are completely grounded in normalcy, and yet so completely absorbing. No other book has caught me so off-guard and left a memorable imprint.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
Denise Morland, March 10, 2009 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
My Abandonment is a stark tale of what happens to people who live outside what is considered the norm. Caroline and her father live hidden away in a 5,400 acre park outside Portland, Oregon. They live by their own code, never stealing, respecting the world around them, and with Caroline being homeshcooled by her father. They are safe until a small slip allows the authorities to find them and force them to live in a way more acceptable to society.
This is a frightening yet fascinating look at the lives of people living on the edge. Caroline is forced to grow up fast and to be stronger and more resourceful then any person should ever have to be. My heart ached for her while I admired her at the same time.
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(19 of 28 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151014149
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Fathers and daughters
Author:
Rock, Peter
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20100402
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.48 lb
Age Level:
from 14

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

My Abandonment
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780151014149 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Based on a true story, My Abandonment is a riveting, unforgettable novel about what it's like to live just beyond the fringes of what we call civilization. Rock finds the tender truth of the 13-year-old protagonist, and the reader can't help but be inspired.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The engaging but limited perspective of 13-year-old Caroline, 'the hillbilly girl that lived in the park,' reveals a highly circumscribed world. When first met, Caroline and Father are scavenging for materials to make a shelter in the 'forest park' outside of Portland, Ore., where they seem to be hiding out. They make cautious trips into the city to the supermarket and the library, but a lapse by Caroline brings police attention, and they are taken into custody. Jean Bauer, whose profession is unclear, helps Father secure employment and brings pots and pans and school clothes for Caroline. Who are these two? Caroline walks 'past posters with my face on them, my old name, and no one sees me.' Father says: 'If I weren't your father... how could I have walked right into your backyard and walked away with you and no one said a word?' This is a tale of survival, of love and attachment, of mystery and alienation. It is an utterly entrancing book, a bow to Thoreau and a nod to the detective story. Every step of this narrative, despite providing more questions than answers, rings true." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A moving evocation of life on the fringes, sparking many questions about our regulated society."
"Review" by , "[D]eeply unsettling and finely wrought....My Abandonment is a haunting novel, masterfully told."
"Review" by , "Peter Rock's My Abandonment is an electrically charged, bone-deep and tender tale of loss and partial redemption. Surreal, haunting, elegiac."
"Review" by , "This beautiful, strange novel takes us into the foreign country where those called homeless are at home, the city is wilderness, and the greater wilderness lies beyond. Fascinating and moving, it tells with great tenderness how human love goes wrong."
"Review" by , "Rock's insight into his characters' worries and hopes propels the story to its emotional conclusion. A compelling read..."
"Synopsis" by , A riveting and unsettling novel about a girl and her father who live off the grid, in the shadows at the edge of civilization.
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, Rock's My Abandonment, inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of his young protagonist, offers a riveting and unsettling account of a girl and her father who live off the grid.
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