Synopses & Reviews
A powerful suspense story narrated by a young girl who must fend for herself and her little brother after a brutal bear attack
While camping with her family on a remote island, five-year-old Anna awakes in the night to the sound of her mother screaming. A rogue black bear, three hundred pounds of fury, is attacking the family's campsite — and pouncing on her parents as prey.
At her dying mother's faint urging, Anna manages to get her brother into the family's canoe and paddle away. But when the canoe runs aground on the edge of the woods, the sister and brother must battle hunger, the elements, and a wilderness alive with danger. Lost and completely alone, they find that their only hope resides in Anna's heartbreaking love for her family, and her struggle to be brave when nothing in her world seems safe anymore.
This is a story with a small narrator and a big heart. Cameron gracefully plumbs Anna's young perspective on family, responsibility, and hope, charting both a tragically premature loss of innocence and a startling evolution as Anna reasons through the impossible situations that confront her.
Lean and confident, and told in the innocent and honest voice of a five-year-old, The Bear is a transporting tale of loss — but also a poignant and surprisingly funny adventure about love and the raw instincts that enable us to survive.
"A vividly portrayed wilderness ordeal...all seen through the eyes of a child....Uplifting." Publishers Weekly, "Pick of the Week"
"Where Cameron truly excels is in creating a mood-the text is efficient and not unnecessarily descriptive, yet the setting and characters are crystal-clear." The Torontoist
"A slam-bang opening....Scary....Darkly funny....Touching....Harrowing but ultimately hopeful." Kirkus Reviews
"Harrowing....A sort of youngster stream of consciousness....Touchingly voiced courageousness....From the conception to the execution, the book is an exploration of anguish from a child's point of view, shaded and shaped by Cameron." Booklist
"The Bear is a taut and touching story of how a child's love and denial become survival skills. Claire Cameron takes a fairytale situation of children pitted against the wilderness, removes the fairies, and adds a terrifying and ravenous bear. I devoured this wonderful new novel in one day." Charlotte Rogan, author of the national bestseller The Lifeboat
"Claire Cameron has written a chilling, beautiful, voice-driven novel, one that will turn your blood cold, make you laugh, and remind you of all the ways you are human. Most importantly she honors the complexity of our relationship with nature, the ways we are humbled by it and tethered to it. A vivid, potent, and unforgettable novel." Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise
About the Author
Claire Cameron's first novel, The Line Painter, was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award for best crime first novel and won the Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service. Cameron's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Globe & Mail, and The Millions. She worked as a wilderness instructor in Ontario's Algonquin Park and for Outward Bound. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.