Monday Book – My Abandonment
My Abandonment, a novel by Peter Rock, was inspired by a local news story about a Vietnam war veteran and his 13 year-old daughter living off the grid in Forest Park, a huge municipal nature reserve in Portland, Oregon. Anyone who has hiked this 5,100 acre, 7 mile long park will find the story credible.
When discovered by authorities after off-trail hikers report suspicious traces of the makeshift home, the daughter was found to be highly intelligent, adequately nourished, well-educated having been home schooled, and in good health. She had not been neglected nor abused in any way. After the two are discovered and captured by police, the story turns into an emotional page -turner wondering how it will end. Will child protective services leave the family together? Can they? What will happen to the dad? Will the girl end up in foster care?
This novel is fast paced and heart tugging. All of the characters are engaging and evoke empathy, with everyone doing the best they can and rooting for the best possible outcome for this family.
Last year a movie based on the novel was filmed in Portland, under the title Leave No Trace. After premiering at Sundance a few weeks ago, it has been purchased by both national and international movie studios, so hopefully will be in theaters soon.
Reviewed by Kate Belt