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My Abandonment

Cover of My Abandonment

My Abandonment

A Novel
Borrow Borrow

Thirteen-year-old Caroline has been raised and home-schooled by her father in a wild nature preserve on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, and follow a rigid code of behavior that enables them to survive in this wilderness. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries, attend church, and otherwise merge with the civilized world. Yet one small mistake allows the authorities to discover them. Their forced relocation is only a brief respite in their flight from a world that can't understand them.

Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of young Caroline, My Abandonment is a mesmerizing, completely original story of survival, hope, and triumphant transformation.

Thirteen-year-old Caroline has been raised and home-schooled by her father in a wild nature preserve on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, and follow a rigid code of behavior that enables them to survive in this wilderness. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries, attend church, and otherwise merge with the civilized world. Yet one small mistake allows the authorities to discover them. Their forced relocation is only a brief respite in their flight from a world that can't understand them.

Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of young Caroline, My Abandonment is a mesmerizing, completely original story of survival, hope, and triumphant transformation.

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  • Text Difficulty:
    6 - 8

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Peter Rock is the author of four novels, including The Bewildered, and a collection of stories, The Unsettling. He teaches writing at Reed College and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Thirteen-year-old Caroline lives rough in an Oregon nature preserve with her troubled father, a Vietnam vet. The close relationship between Caroline and Father makes living off the land seem almost normal. They avoid contact with everyone, even other homeless people, but it's not long before the authorities step in and place them in more conventional living arrangements. Tai Sammons's narration commands attention. Her matter-of-fact recounting of daily events deepens the mystery surrounding the two. In a straightforward, unemotional delivery, Sammons imparts Father's paranoia, Caroline's ability to calm him from his helicopter dreams, and her frequently lyrical observations concerning her education, her occasional bouts of loneliness, and their day-to-day survival. Definitely a worthwhile listen. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 24, 2008
    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.

  • Ursula Le Guin '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.'
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    Blackstone Audio
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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My Abandonment
My Abandonment
A Novel
Peter Rock
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