My Abandonment

By Peter Rock
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156035521, 225pp.)

Publication Date: April 2010

List Price: $13.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer '10 Reading Group List
“Loosely based on a true story, My Abandonment reveals the secret world of 13-year-old Caroline and her father as they make their life in a nature reserve in Oregon. Full of details of a life created in the wild as well as the captivating view of Caroline, the novel pulls you along to its heart-wrenching end. The book raises many questions about our society and parenting, and would be an excellent book group choice.”
-- Leslie, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL


Description
A thirteen-year-old girl and her father live in Forest Park, an 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 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.
Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, Caroline, "My Abandonment" is a riveting journey into life at the margins and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.



About the Author
PETER ROCK is the author of five previous novels, most recently My Abandonment, and a collection of stories, The Unsettling. He teaches writing at Reed College.


NPR
Monday, Aug 1, 2011

What is it about the human spirit? Even in the most emotionally and physically trying times, somehow, it is able to remain victorious. Author Susan Choi recommends three tales of struggle and, ultimately, of those who achieve great feats in the face of adversity. More at NPR.org

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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. When the book opens, Caroline and Father are scavenging scrap metal from a junk yard. “ ‘You see, Caroline,’ Father says, ‘all the work I’m doing here for these people, organizing all these different things. This is how we are paying them back for what we’re taking’ ” (p. 4). Why is it important to Father to “pay back” for what they take? Is Father concerned with morality? Can you find other examples where he justifies an action that others might think is wrong? How does Caroline see Father’s actions? Does the way Caroline judges Father change over the course of the book?

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